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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Hawaiian Electric completes first phase of smart grid installation
By News Release @ 9:56 PM :: 3179 Views

Hawaiian Electric completes first phase of smart grid installation

Participating customers can save energy with "My Energy Use" Web portal

News Release from HECO

HONOLULU, Sept. 24, 2014 – Hawaiian Electric Company has completed the initial installation of smart grid technology in select neighborhoods on Oahu. As a result, customers in Moanalua Valley and portions of Pearl City, Kaimuki, Diamond Head, Kahala and Waikiki can now access their own personalized Web portal and use that information to help better manage their electric bills.  The neighborhoods in this initial phase of Hawaiian Electric’s smart grid project were chosen because they represent a diverse mix of customers and physical terrain.

Hawaiian Electric’s smart grid program consists of a modern wireless communication network that is integrated into the existing electric grid. The system includes sensors to improve outage detection, automated system controls to improve outage restoration time, and advanced electric meters to help customers better manage their energy use.

The development of smart grids across Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii Island is a key part of Hawaiian Electric’s strategy to transform the islands’ electric systems. In plans recently filed with the Public Utilities Commission, Hawaiian Electric said that, by 2030, more than 65 percent of the state’s energy needs can be met by renewable energy sources. It also committed to lowering customer bills by 20 percent and nearly tripling the amount of distributed solar energy by then.

“Information is power, and smart grid technology empowers our customers by providing them with more information about their energy use so that they can better understand what contributes to their electric bill,” said Shari Ishikawa, Hawaiian Electric’s smart grid program manager. “Modernizing our electric grids with smart technology will improve service, provide customers with the opportunity to better manage their electricity bill, and help integrate more low-cost renewable energy.”

This is the first phase of a plan that, pending approval by the Public Utilities Commission, would incorporate smart grids across Oahu, in Maui County and on Hawaii Island by 2018.

"Just as smartphones have changed the way we communicate, smart meters can transform how we measure, manage, and use energy," said Blue Planet Foundation Executive Director Jeff Mikulina. “The ability to ‘itemize’ our kilowatt-hours will give customers more insight and control over their energy use."

Residential customers with smart meters can log in to their Hawaiian Electric Online Customer Service account at www.hawaiianelectric.com to access their personalized “My Energy Use” Web portals. Using data collected by the smart meters, customers can see their energy use broken down by day, time of day, even by 15-minute increments.

This detailed information enables customers to monitor their energy use and make informed decisions about saving electricity.

“My Energy Use” also displays energy use in terms of environmental impact over the course of a year. It will compare a customer’s data to that of other homes or businesses that have smart meters in the same zip code.

Smart grid technology has matured with more than 50 million smart meters installed across the country. Silver Spring Networks (NYSE: SSNI), a leading smart grid technology and solutions provider, is a strategic partner in this effort to modernize Hawaii’s electric systems.

“We are pleased to partner with Hawaiian Electric to help upgrade their power grid and deploy a comprehensive, smart grid-enabled network. We are proud to help them deliver an intelligent, multi-application network that supports tools and data available to enable new benefits for both utilities and their customers from day one," said Steve Ingram, Vice President, Global Delivery, Silver Spring Networks.

Customers in the installation areas will be mailed brochures with more details about the “My Energy Use” portal. In addition, customers may find more information about the smart grid program online at www.hawaiianelectric.com/smartgrid or by calling (808) 440-4977.

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