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GP&L’s Electric Meters are not “Smart Meters”

Garland, TX, March 16, 2010 – In light of recent concerns about the accuracy of electric "smart meters” statewide, Garland Power & Light would like to assure its customers that GP&L does not utilize the type of electric meters that are currently under scrutiny by the Texas Public Utility Commission.

The “smart meters” of recent concern in deregulated service areas utilize two-way and other advanced communications technologies. In contrast, the digital meters being installed by GP&L utilize one-way communication to allow for remote reading, and are not of the same type as the meters undergoing mandatory statewide testing.

For the past six years, GP&L has been installing remote-read (ERT) meters which provide one-way communication of the monthly meter reading to a meter reader walking by with a hand-held unit, or to a unit in a utility vehicle driving in the neighborhood. The installation of these ERT meters at GP&L customers’ residences is almost complete.

The one-way communication signal from the ERT meter to the meter reader and a digital display are the primary enhancements from the old dial display meters. This communications technology has been around for a long time, and is widely used by utilities throughout the country. The ERT meter is very basic, and costs about $20. These meters also improve meter reader safety and reading accuracy.

GP&L has not opted into electric retail deregulation, and has no plans at this time to use “smart meters” for residential accounts. “We are very satisfied with the accuracy of the ERT meters,” says Director of Retail Customer Service Jeff Janke. “We have used them for many years, and are pleased with their performance,” he added.

This winter, Texas has experienced record cold temperatures and extended periods of cold weather. High bill inquiries have been researched, and the electric usage tracks with usage during similarly cold months from past winters.

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