As reported in Governing, smart grids, and particularly smart electric meters, played a promising role in improving disaster response and the speed with which power could be restored following Hurricane Sandy.
The article describes how the technology arms utility providers with real-time information on outages, allowing them to recognize outage patterns and sharpen their response. The technology of smart electric meters is not pervasive yet, but in communities where it has taken root, it is already helping. For example, in Maryland,
. . . while Baltimore Gas and Electric’s smart-meter system is only 10 percent complete, the utility credits the program with facilitating much faster troubleshooting and with replacing phone calls to customers to check on service–calls that often go unanswered–with a quick and reliable stream of information.
The response of utilities to Hurricane Sandy and other emergencies will be the topic of the general session at MACo’s upcoming Winter Conference, featuring local elected officials, emergency managers and utility providers as panelists in “County Service in Times of Trouble: The Local Role in Emergency Response.” For more information, see our registration brochure.