In June, electric utility Pepco began installing advanced digital electric meters, also referred to as smart meters, throughout its Maryland service area. The meter exchange program is the first step in the utility’s long-term investment to build a smart power grid that is intended to help customers better manage their energy use and costs and improve customer service and reliability.

Crews will continue with the installation process through December 2012 until all of Pepco’s Maryland customers receive a new meter.

“Installing smart meters is a first step to transforming today’s aging power grid to one that is more flexible and efficient,” said Thomas Graham, president, Pepco Region. “Ultimately, customers will see benefits, such as fewer estimated bills and more tools to help customers better manage their energy use and help the environment.”

Graham emphasized that it will take some time to fully integrate the new meters to a point where customers will be able to realize all the benefits.

In August 2010, the Maryland Public Service Commission authorized Pepco to proceed with this modernization effort, which is consistent with federal initiatives to improve energy efficiency, while reducing carbon emissions. Pepco has received $68.85 million in federal stimulus grants to help fund Pepco’s smart meter program in Maryland.