Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 | 1:04 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
NV Energy plans to swap out all of its mechanical meters throughout the state with electronic meters as part of the company’s initiative to become more environmentally friendly, a spokesman announced at Tuesday’s Paradise town board meeting.
Edgar Patino, manager for local government affairs at NV Energy, said the Advanced Delivery Project would provide more control over energy consumption for consumers and decrease waste. It would save NV Energy $35 million per year, he said, savings that will be passed on to customers, he said.
Starting this month, NV Energy will begin replacing all of its 1.3 million meters in the state, an effort that will be finished by about March 2012 in Southern Nevada, Patino said.
More than 40 percent of the $301 million project will be paid for by a grant from the Department of Energy. The company will cover the rest.
Patino acknowledged those costs will come from slightly increased rates for customers until the project is completed.
The “vision,” as Patino described it, would eventually allow NV Energy to offer pricing options for consumers to control their energy costs. In theory, a person could set their electricity to shut off during peak hours and regularly check a website to monitor home energy use throughout the month.
Electronic meters would reduce manual meter reads; Patino said NV Energy conducts about 17 million annually. Outages would also be reported to the company more quickly, and the location would be more precise, which would improve customer service, he said.
The new meters would also ease the integration of renewable energy sources and developing technologies, such as electric vehicles, into homes, Patino said.
NV Energy employs about 70 meter readers in the area, and he said that those positions would be eliminated once the transition was done.
However, Patino said those jobs tend to have a high turnover rate, and he said the company hoped to incorporate those remaining employees into other aspects of NV Energy’s operations.