Soboba tribal members who live on the reservation will soon have the means to monitor their electricity consumption in real-time, giving them an opportunity to tweak their watts to hold down costs.
Southern California Edison, which serves the San Jacinto-area reservation, is in the process of installing SmartConnect meters at all of the homes there.
Unlike traditional meters, the smart mechanisms can be accessed from most two-way communications devices, including mobile phones and laptop computers, providing users instantaneous information about how much electricity is being used, according to SCE.
“We are excited to be the first Tribal Nation (in California) to participate in the Edison SmartConnect program,” said Soboba Tribal Councilwoman Rose Salgado. “Smart meters will allow us to better serve our tribal community by utilizing Edison’s state-of-the-art technology.”
The devices project kilowatt-hour costs so residents can adjust the amount of electricity they’re using as they’re using it, SCE officials said.
All reservation residents should be equipped with the smart meters by the first half of next year, according to the company.
SCE plans to install the meters in 5 million homes and small-businesses within its 50,000-square-mile service area by the end of 2012.
The $1.6 billion SmartConnect program was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2008.
“SCE anticipates customers’ use of the information provided by the new meters will reduce demand on the electricity grid by about 1,000 megawatts — the amount of energy produced at an average power plant,” the company said in a statement.