According to the Washington TimeS, Washington, D.C.-area electricity provider Pepco announced it is laying out its plan for spurring energy conservation and using innovative technologies like smart meters to combat global warming, save customers money and avoid midsummer blackouts.

In a filing before the D.C. Public Service Commission, Pepco said it would install smart meters in every home to enable customers to save money and energy by curbing power use during daily peak periods when fuel prices are high and electricity is scarce.

The new meters will enable Pepco to remotely detect and correct outages more quickly and provide bills based on actual rather than estimated power use. The utility, which provides power to 745,000 Maryland and D.C. residents, also will offer to install smart thermostats that can automatically adjust the temperature in homes at night and when residents usually are away at the office and school. Pepco also is proposing to give customers credit on their utility bills for installing high-efficiency air conditioners and fluorescent light bulbs and for allowing the utility to cycle their air conditioners and electric heaters off-line during peak power periods.

The utility filed a similar plan with the Maryland Public Service Commission recently as did its Delmarva Power subsidiary in Delaware. The plans are aimed at helping the utility and its customers comply with mandates to curb greenhouse gases that came into play in Maryland in June when the state is scheduled to join seven Northeastern states in a regional plan to cut down on the carbon-dioxide emissions many scientists think contribute to global warming. EC

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