The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has taken a major step toward considering utility proposals for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) projects by establishing minimum functional requirements for AMI in the state. In addition, it has created a process for the development of a generic approach to the benefit/cost analysis of AMI.
More than half of the costs of installing AMI can be offset by a reduction in traditional utility costs of operations or improved services, such as avoided meter-reading costs, faster outage detection and improved customer service, according to the PSC. A projection of benefits from the demand response enabled by the AMI system must be included to bridge the benefit/cost gap based on what is recoverable from AMI-operational savings alone.
The action puts New York on track to potentially receive federal financial assistance that may become available to improve electricity distribution systems.
Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc. and Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. had previously filed proposals for pilot programs to test AMI systems. Based on the PSC's decision, these utilities will file updated pilot AMI projects within 60 days. No filing deadline was established for the other utilities that did not file pilot proposals.
The order approved by PSC requires that AMI systems in New York provide a wide variety of functional capabilities. AMI meters must meet American National Standards Institute standards, support net metering, provide the ability for a visual read, provide time-interval data, have sufficient memory storage and provide customers with direct, real-time access to electric meter data.
SOURCE: New York State Public Service Commission