For Immediate Release
Grant Money Would Help Offset Costs of Building Smart Grid
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pepco announced today that it will file applications for $142 million in federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Smart Grid Investment Grant Program.
The utility is seeking grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help cover the cost of advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation and direct load control equipment in its District of Columbia and Maryland service territories. Of the total, $44 million would be targeted to the District and $98 million would be for Maryland. A $142 million grant, if awarded by DOE, would represent 50 percent of the total project spend, which is the maximum possible under the program.
"Every dollar we obtain from the federal government offsets the cost customers would otherwise pay to make these important improvements to the system, which are designed to enable customers to better manage their energy use and costs, improve customer service and reliability and create a cleaner environment," said Pepco Region President Thomas Graham. "The funds also will allow us to do our part to jump start the local economy and help the District of Columbia and Maryland meet their energy goals."
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) improves reliability by letting the utility know when a customer is out of service. AMI also is key to providing customers with greater usage data, which will enable them to make more informed choices regarding their energy use.
Distribution automation technology enhances the reliability of the electric system, so Pepco will be better able to manage the flow of power and, when the flow is interrupted, restore service more quickly and safely.
Direct load control equipment gives the utility the ability to temporarily cycle on and off air conditioning equipment during times of peak demand for customers who volunteer to participate in the program. This helps to reduce overall usage, keep energy costs down and preserve the integrity of the electric system during critical load consumption periods.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 750,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.