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Puget Sound Energy: Deploying smart meters to deliver power more efficiently

Washington State passed a law that will require its entire electricity supply to be free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Puget Sound Energy, the state’s oldest and largest electric and gas utility, has created a near-term roadmap to help reach that goal. Under its proposed Clean Energy Implementation Plan, more than 60% of PSE’s electricity will come from clean sources by 2025. It is also ramping up renewables, incentivizing customers to cut their energy usage, and undertaking other efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

PSE sees the implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure—the new industry standard for smart metering technology—as foundational to achieving its decarbonization goals. It has already installed more than 930,000 smart meters for electricity customers as part of a multi-year rollout of more than 2 million AMI-based electric and gas meters.

With two-way communications capabilities and onboard memory, smart meters help PSE deliver electricity more efficiently. They also empower customers, by giving them more data about their energy consumption. By logging onto the PSE portal, customers get a detailed, time-specific breakdown of their power usage on a given day, along with information about that day’s weather, meaning there’s added context to explain the usage. PSE is also piloting the use of in-home energy usage displays, which eliminate the need to log into its portal.

Smart meters have made it easier for PSE to deliver power to residential customers at the lower range of its regulated voltage range, a behind-the-scenes practice that improves efficiency—without customers even noticing.

AMI technology has also made it possible for PSE to deploy smart streetlighting in some municipalities. The technology gives municipal customers control over the energy usage tied to streetlights, helping them manage costs. And because they can be brightened or dimmed remotely, smart streetlights can improve road safety and reduce light pollution.

“OTPP and Puget Sound Energy share a commitment to a clean energy future. As an investor, they are instrumental in helping PSE realize our aspirational goal of being a Beyond Net Zero Carbon energy company by 2045, reducing our emissions to net zero and going beyond by helping sectors across our state lower their carbon footprint. Climate change is bigger than all of us. And we make real, meaningful and significant impacts when we work in concert toward common objectives.”

Mary Kipp, President and CEO,
Puget Sound Energy