Delaware first in line for AEP smart meters

The City of Delaware will be the first of 13 central Ohio communities to have smart meters installed this year.

The installation will begin on Monday. The smart meter installations will first move to nearly 900,000 customers through the central Ohio area and continue throughout AEP Ohio’s service territory until completion in February 2021.

“AEP Ohio is working hard to bring the best technology to our customers,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer, in a statement. “Installing smart meters will allow us to continue our commitment to delivering reliable service, while providing our customers more information to better manage their energy usage and save money — without sacrificing comfort.”

City Manager R. Thomas Homan said the installation would be similar to Delaware’s conversion of its water meters.

“It’s a very similar effort,” he said at Delaware City Council meeting on Monday. City officials met with AEP officials on Tuesday to understand AEP’s approach.

In 2009, 132,000 AEP Ohio customers received smart meters as part of the company’s gridSMART demonstration project, according to a press release. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved AEP Ohio to install smart meters across its service territory.

Smart meter benefits include the following, according to a press release:

• During a storm, AEP Ohio will have the ability to ping your meter to know if you still have power — helping determine where the outage issue may be centralized, leading to a faster restoration time.

• Smart meters send your electric usage data to AEP Ohio throughout the day — eliminating the need to access your property for meter reading and simplifying the billing process by doing away with estimated bills.

• Enables new features and technology that will help customers manage their energy usage from a smart phone, tablet, or laptop.

Customers receiving a smart meter will be notified by mail and phone about 10 days in advance of the meter exchange. The installation process is simple and quick, with a brief power disruption of about two minutes, an AEP spokeswoman said. AEP Ohio is asking customers to ensure there is a clear path to their meter and that pets are secured on the day of installation.

A door hangar will be left to inform residents that the project was completed.

Other communities slated for smart meter installation are Lewis Center, Sunbury, Johnstown, Galena, Westerville, New Albany, Pataskala, Powell, Worthington, Dublin, Amlin, and Plain City

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By Brandon Klein

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.