LAKELAND, FL (October 27, 2009) â€“ Lakeland Electric was notified by the Department of Energy that the utility has been selected to receive funding as part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant for the installation of smart grid technology.
The Lakeland Electric smart grid initiative will allow customers to manage their own usage through devices that will be able to control the time appliances in a home are turned on or off.Â Jim Stanfield, General Manager of Lakeland Electric said, â€œThis technology has the capability of changing the way we do business through improved interaction with customers.â€Â He added, â€œA customer can program the operation of their appliances and with time of day pricing, they can choose to have their dishwasher, hot water heater or pool pump operate during non-peak times.Â This will ultimately allow a customer to manage their usage and the rates they pay.â€
Lakeland Electric requested a $20 million as part of the Federal Governmentâ€™s Smart Grid Investment Grant.Â The Lakeland Electric smart grid initiative is estimated to cost of $48 million.Â The Department of Energy has tentatively scheduled an award briefing for the week of November 16, 2009 to discuss logistics of the project.Â Lakeland Electric is on task to start the project with the first meters to be installed during the summer 2010.Â Lakeland Electricâ€™s smart system build out of 120,000 meters is scheduled to take three years to complete.
Â With the installation of smart grid technology, the customer will receive an outside meter with two-way radio communications that talks to the electric system and an interior home display that shares information with the meter. The interior display has the ability for customers to program appliances inside the home and monitor the cost of energy as it is being consumed.Â A smart grid system provides new features for the customer including more convenience and better, faster service; new rate choices through time of use rates and more control over energy bills.
Â The $20 million Smart Grid Investment Grand awarded to Lakeland Electric is the 2nd largest project in the State of Florida and the 29th largest project awarded nationwide.