This excerpt taken from the PCG 8-K filed Oct 28, 2005.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure
The CPUC is assessing the viability of implementing an advanced metering infrastructure for residential and small commercial customers. This infrastructure would enable California investor-owned electric utilities to measure usage of electricity on a time-of-use basis and to charge demand responsive rates. The goal of demand responsive rates is to encourage customers to reduce energy consumption during peak demand periods and to reduce peak period procurement costs. Advanced meters can record usage in time intervals and be read remotely. The Utility is implementing demand responsive tariffs for large industrial customers who already have advanced metering systems in place, and a statewide pilot program was recently completed to test whether and how much residential and small commercial customers will respond to demand responsive rates. If the CPUC determines that it would be cost effective to install advanced metering on a large scale and authorizes the Utility to proceed with large scale development of advanced metering for residential and small commercial customers, the Utility expects that it would incur substantial costs to convert its meters, build the meter reading network, and build the data storage and processing facilities to bill its customers. On March 15, 2005, the Utility filed an application with the CPUC to spend up to $49 million on pre-deployment activities for advanced metering. This application has not yet been approved. The Utility expects to file an application for deployment of the full advanced metering project in the summer of 2005. The Utility would expect to recover through rates the capital investments and any ongoing operating costs net of operating savings associated with implementing the advanced metering project. The total deployment of an advanced metering infrastructure to all of the Utilitys electricity and natural gas customers using equipment and technology currently available may cost more than $1.0 billion, based on a five-year installation schedule starting in 2006.