Duke Energy installs digital meters in Oxford

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Whether it's winter blasts or summer storms the headaches of a power outage are all but unavoidable for everyone.

"I hope this will help to eliminate those problems and make the tenets' time without electric as short as possible," said Oxford property Manager April Myers.

Duke Energy will install nearly 6,000  new smart grid electric meters in Oxford by mid-May.

"When there is a power outage, Duke Energy doesn't know where the damage on the system is or what customers are affected, until someone calls us," said Tim Abbott of Duke Energy.

But, now customers can hang up the phone thanks to smart grid, allowing customers to track and change their energy use, and allowing Duke Energy to pinpoint where the power problems are and who's effected, cutting down on time for both utility workers and customers.

"A typical outage where it might take two hours might be able to be accomplished in half that time or less," Abbott said.

Meters can also be read remotely, something property owners and managers say is a plus.

"They're not going to have to wait for somebody to come out and turn it on, they're not going to have to wait for somebody to come out and read the meter," Myers said.

But, with the convenience comes a cost, Duke Energy will spend nearly $1 billion installing the new technology over the next five years, and some of that will be passed a long to the customer

"A program that we will follow that will minimize the cost and will be passed on to the customers as we do the work and will be capped at a certain rate," Abbott said.

Duke Energy hopes customers will make up the added costs through energy savings.

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