Using two-way digital communications, the Smart Grid’s technologies will help you make wise energy-use choices. At the same time, it will increase our ability to keep power flowing to your door every day—safely, reliably and efficiently.
The Smart Grid’s cutting-edge technologies and automation will enhance grid reliability and stability. That means we will be better able to minimize the number of power outages, as well as their duration and impact on our customers. Additionally, we will be able to diagnose and repair power problems more quickly, and the system will be more resilient and better protected.
The Smart Grid also will help us efficiently manage the demand on our electric system, and integrate renewable resources such as wind energy.
Other benefits of the Smart Grid are improved ability to respond to outages, reduced outage duration and improved power reliability—all of which means better electrical service.
The data will help our customers resolve energy-use questions, and confirm the effects of conservation measures and changes in their energy-use patterns.
Your energy-use data from your meter is available through our website and is displayed graphically to help make it easy to understand. To access your meter data, simply register or log in to My Account.
A smart meter records only your energy use, as did the old mechanical meters. And, you are charged for the amount of energy you use as recorded by your meter. You are not be charged directly for the new smart meter. The cost of the technology improvements and installation are part of the infrastructure costs Idaho Power recovers through customer rates. Any increases approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission will be included on your energy bill.
Learn more about your meter, including how to read one.
The goals of the Smart Grid Investment Grant are to:
- Accelerate modernization of the nation’s electric transmission and distribution systems
- Promote investments in Smart Grid technologies, tools and techniques
- Increase flexibility, functionality, interoperability, cyber security, situational awareness and operational efficiency.
The intent of the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) funding is to provide federal financial assistance for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs. Idaho Power’s projects totaled $94 million, of which $47 million was from the company’s investment and $47 million from SGIG funds.
This financial assistance is intended to enable measurable improvements through accelerated achievement of Smart Grid projects, including:
- Reliability of the electric power system
- Consumer electricity costs, bills and environmental impacts
- Clean energy development and greenhouse gas emissions
- Economic opportunities for businesses and new jobs for workers.
Idaho Power committed to completing 12 projects within three main categories:
- Advanced Metering Infrastructure
- Customer Systems
- Electric Infrastructure Improvements
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter exchanges began in 2009 and completed in 2011. The company replaced 500,000 existing traditional meters with advanced, digital wired meters. Smart meters are capable of measuring and collecting hourly interval energy-use data to support future time-variant rates.
Customer Systems projects provide customer access to meter information and programs enabled by the Smart Grid. Project components include an upgraded customer information database and an energy-use advising tool.
Electric Infrastructure Improvements are necessary to fully enable the Smart Grid. The projects planned under this category include:
- Updates to the outage management system
- Development of renewable integration tools to improve load and wind forecasting
- Self-healing network pilot project
- Implementation of a transmission situational awareness project.