Posted on January 6, 2014
When the City Commission voted to move forward with the Smart Meter program in March, 2007, the decision was based in part on the proposal provided by the vendor, Honeywell.
The detailed proposal showed how the City could save $44 million over the next fourteen years if 25,000 utility customers signed up for a time-of-use program and cut their usage for heating and cooling by 10%.
Time-of-use rates charge more for electricity during high usage times and is designed to change the behavior of customers, resulting in less demand for electricity at peak times. If the program works correctly and is fully implemented, the construction of new power plants is deferred and money is saved.
The City implemented a time-of-use rate program, the Nights and Weekend Pricing Program, on November 1, 2010. For those who voluntarily signed up for the program, they could save money if they used more electricity during off-peak hours.
In March, 2012, City staff reported to the City Commission that 2,000 customers had signed for the Nights and Weekend program. Subsequently, the City Commission voted to make the program permanent and available to all utility customers.
Through a public data request, Tallahassee has learned that as October, 2013, approximately 4,200 customers have signed up for the program and approximately 1,200 customers have cancelled.
Based on the provided, seven years after the vote to move forward with the smart meter program and three years after offering a time-of-use rate programs, approximately 3,000 customers, or 3% of all utility customers, have chosen to participate in the program.
What are the implications?Based on the original Honeywell cost-benefit proposal, it is difficult to see how any savings could be realized in the near future.
The last update on the program was March, 2012 and the City staff has yet to provide any kind of evaluation of the costs and benefits of the smart meter program to date.
"Honeywell believes that the City of Tallahassee has the potential to install more than 25,000 Tally-Stats over the next 3-5 years." Page 3
"Consumption savings over the 15-year program will reach approximately $20 million." Page 4
"These benefits are provided at Zero Net Cost, based on the reasonable estimates and assumptions presented here." Page 1