MAYS LANDING, N.J. - Atlantic City Electric today praised New Jersey’s revised Energy Master Plan (EMP), saying it is consistent with many of the company’s proposals to conserve energy, reduce energy cost and protect the environment.
“Atlantic City Electric commends Gov. Jon S. Corzine for his leadership and supports many of the EMP’s recommendations, particularly the use of new technology as a cornerstone of the electric delivery system as well as promoting energy efficiency which is the lowest cost and cleanest way to address future energy needs,” said Atlantic City Electric Regional President, Kenneth J. Parker. “We believe the EMP helps chart a course for the future that will benefit the state’s economy, protect our environment and allow us to continue providing reliable service to our customers.”
The EMP initiative seeks to reduce New Jersey’s energy consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020. The plan also calls for New Jersey to meet 22.5 percent of the state’s energy requirements with renewable resources such as wind and solar power by the year 2020, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The final document will be released after public hearings have been conducted and the EMP committee has made final recommendations.
Parker noted that Atlantic City Electric’s “Blueprint for the Future,” filed November 19, 2007 and currently pending before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, proposes many of the same key initiatives as the EMP. Some common elements include: advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and other related technology, new demand-side management programs, utility-managed energy efficiency and conservation programs as well as rate decoupling.
The EMP mentions the use of “smart metering” technology and the utilization of other technologies to help transform the electric power grid to the ultimate benefit of the customers. “We believe the installation of smart meters and other technologies will help improve reliability and customer service as well as give customers tools for lowering their energy use, reducing their energy costs and supporting the environment. Smart meters and other cost-saving tools will allow customers to make timely decisions as to when and how much energy is used,” said Parker.
Parker said, “Our Blueprint proposal includes installing “smart meters” to improve reliability, customer service and, ultimately, give customers options for lowering their energy usage and cost. Atlantic City Electric looks forward to working with all interested parties as we attempt to implement EMP goals and bring positive benefits and outcomes to our customers.”
The smart meters, which the company proposes to install in the homes of all its southern New Jersey customers over the next four to five years, would give Atlantic City Electric the ability to remotely identify the location of outages, resulting in quicker restoration. They also provide for two-way communication between a utility and its customers. Smart meters also can give customers price and usage information and options for managing their electricity demand when prices are high. For example, one proposal is for customers to receive financial incentives on their bills for allowing Atlantic City Electric to “cycle” or intermittently turn off their central air conditioning or heat pumps when wholesale electricity prices are high.
The EMP also calls for utilities to expand their demand-side management (DSM) program offerings. The EMP also refers to decoupling, which would remove financial disincentives for utilities to support energy conservation and efficiency programs. As a company, Atlantic City Electric will continue to implement conservation initiatives within its own facilities and fleet in support of the environment.
“We want our customers to know that we are listening to them and we are doing everything we can to provide reliable service and help them deal with higher energy prices,” Parker said. “While there is no single solution to resolving the state’s energy issues, both the New Jersey Energy Master Plan and our Blueprint for the Future can help customers save money and benefit the environment.”
Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 540,000 customers in southern New Jersey.