In July 2021, we received approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to build our Smart Energy Network, which will include upgrading the local energy grid and installing smart meters, also referred to as advanced metering infrastructure. This initiative will enhance reliability and resiliency, improve the customer experience and further advance a clean energy future for New Jersey.
The Smart Energy Network will enhance the reliability of our energy service, including faster restoration efforts following increasingly common severe weather events driven by climate change. The Smart Energy Network will also improve customer service and support new tools and programs to help customers save money and energy.
As part of our ongoing work to maintain safe and reliable energy service, we are now installing smart meters as part of our routine meter installations for customers across our service area. We expect to enable the enhanced functionality of the smart meters currently being installed during routine meter installations in early 2023. Customers will receive more information about the new features available and specific timing for activation of the enhanced functionality closer to the activation date. Customers can learn more by viewing our FAQ.
To build the Smart Energy Network, we will replace all the existing traditional electric meters in our service area with smart meters that can securely communicate with our central operations facility, providing more detailed information about energy service. We are also upgrading the local energy grid with more specialized networking equipment to create smart energy infrastructure that can automatically respond and alert us to potential issues.
We anticipate beginning to build the Smart Energy Network in mid-2022. Meter exchanges will occur over the course of 24 months and we will work closely with our customers and communities regarding the meter exchange process. We will undertake a comprehensive customer and community outreach and education campaign to help ensure customer awareness of the planned work and the numerous benefits of the Smart Energy Network.
The Smart Energy Network is a critical step in advancing a clean energy future for South Jersey. As customers' energy needs evolve, it helps upgrade the grid into a common platform connecting customers to new energy services and more choices. For example, smart meters will enable more efficient integration of new energy technologies and connect more customers to a variety of clean energy choices, including installing solar energy, participating in robust energy efficiency programs and accessing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
By building the Smart Energy Network and providing more detailed data about the energy grid, we can enhance reliability of energy service, maintain affordable service for customers, and improve the overall customer experience, while also supporting New Jersey's environmental goals and helping power the state's economic recovery by creating jobs.
Learn about the benefits of a Smart Energy Network.