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National Grid to install 1.7 million smart meters across Upstate New York

John Smith / WAER News
National Grid's Michael Mokey leads a demonstration of the new smart meters.

Homeowners across Central New York are getting new electric smart meters. National Grid says it will take about two years to install the 1.7 million electric meters. Once in, homeowners can use their cell phones to remotely track energy usage directly from their own meters. Spokesperson Al Bianchetti says a mobile app will show the energy usage of a home in real-time.

“They’ll be able to see peak days. So, they’ll be able to tell… ok, we had guests that weekend that stayed over or my kids came back home from college and they did all their laundry or we turned on the Christmas lights and so the usage went up.”

Bianchetti says crews have already installed about 170,000 smart meters. The app reads algorithms to identify how much energy appliances are consuming. Director of advanced metering infrastructure, Michael Mokey says customers will have the ability to connect other appliances as they turn them on.

A look at new smart meters being installed.
John Smith / WAER News
A look at new smart meters upon installation.

“The more people have access to this information and the more they name different appliances, the smarter the library gets, as well. So, the meter itself empowers the app that’s able to recognize the electrical signatures of your appliances and tell you exactly what is being used at any given time.”

Beta testing for the new app is underway and will eventually become available to customers. National Grid’s Bianchetti says the expense of installing the smart meters is covered through previous rate settlements and won’t impact customers. He says electric meters usually last about 20 years. Customers have the option to decline smart meter installation but, will face monthly service charges to cover on-site meter readings.

National Grid to install new smart meters in CNY homes (