Updated: 11:08 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011 | Posted: 9:55 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011

DP&L only Ohio power company to delay ‘smart meter’ upgrades



By Tom Beyerlein

Staff Writer

DAYTON — Dayton Power & Light Co. is the only major Ohio electric utility that isn’t rolling out digital “smart meters” that can reduce the duration of outages during storms such as the one last week that knocked out power to tens of thousands of local residents.

The meters improve response times by automatically pinpointing where outages occur. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last month approved DP&L’s withdrawal of a $370 million, 10-year plan to create a so-called smart grid here. The project was designed to improve reliability, help customers manage their energy use and costs, and make it easier to integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the grid.

Duke Energy of Ohio and AEP-Ohio have begun installing smart meters in southwest and central Ohio, and FirstEnergy Corp. plans to launch a pilot program in northeast Ohio this year.

DP&L Operations Director Kevin Hall said the utility withdrew its plan in October, a year after the Energy Department rejected its application for a $145 million stimulus grant.

DP&L spokeswoman Lesley Sprigg said customers in some markets have objected to the meters because of cost and privacy issues. “There is a lot of outcry,” she said. “Customers are concerned about it and don’t want to pay for it.”

 
 

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