New Smart Meters, Energy Efficiency Help O&R Beat the Heat
Orange & Rockland (O&R) has prepared to meet high summer demand for electricity with continued investments in projects that improve electric service reliability and the further development of energy efficiency programs that help customers use less energy, save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
To prepare for this summer's peak demands for electricity, O&R has made investments totaling over
They are designed to provide
Smart meters' benefits go beyond power monitoring to provide individuals greater control over their energy consumption. Customers will be able to see where and why their consumption increases or decreases and can take action to reduce their bills. The smart meters also facilitate quicker restoration of service after a storm event by communicating the precise location of service interruptions. O&R invested approximately
Since the installation began in
O&R plans to install 230,000 electric smart meters in its
In addition, several operational steps --- from pro-active system maintenance and construction to close monitoring and rapid response to heat-related electric system concerns on high heat days --- play a critical role in O&R's delivering safe and reliable electric service this summer.
These steps also include line clearance work in the form of specific tree-trimming projects, infrared inspections and transmission line patrols and distribution equipment testing and inspections.
O&R also is pursuing a strategy the company adopted post-Superstorm Sandy to provide additional storm protection at specific key electric system locations. These storm-resilience electric system improvements include building additional electric circuits and undergrounding selective system-critical locations where multiple overhead circuits are present on distribution poles. Taller, stronger poles also are being installed at key locations. Those processes are now part of O&R's operational construction procedures.
And, those process improvements are having a positive impact on customers.
In the most recent example, during the destructive March nor'easters Riley and Quinn alone, O&R engineers estimate that over 18,000 O&R customers avoided, or experienced significantly briefer power outages, as a result of the storm-resilience improvements.
This summer, electric bills are expected to be slightly higher than last summer. The typical O&R residential customer in
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
To help its customers use electricity this summer as wisely as possible, O&R is promoting a number of energy efficiency programs for residential, small business and commercial and industrial customers.
Among those programs is O&R's online store.
This summer, O&R has developed four more new residential energy efficiency programs that include integrating more energy efficient products and instant purchase rebates into the
O&R developed these programs to more closely align its energy-efficiency efforts with the
Since 2009, 26,000 customers using these programs have saved 149,000 MWh of electricity, 119,000 Dth of natural gas, reduced peak electric demand by over 32 MW and have reduced carbon emissions by 103,000 tons.
That 149,000 MWh is enough energy to power over 18,000 homes, and is equivalent to taking 22,000 cars off the road. The 32 MWs of peak electric demand is enough to meet the peak demand needs of five Palisades Malls.
To learn more about O&R energy efficiency programs, visit us at www.oru.com/save.