Smart Meters are coming to Florida soon.
Smart Meters are coming soon to Florida.
Imagine pulling out your cell phone or logging onto your computer to see how much energy you’re using. With the implementation of Energy Smart Miami, technology just might be moving in that direction. The city of Miami released its Energy Smart Miami plan in April 2009. The plan involves developing energy-efficient systems and “smart” electric grids throughout the city, giving consumers more information and more choices concerning energy consumption. To implement Energy Smart Miami, government officials proposed the plan and asked for a $200-million investment from President Obama’s $2.6-billion Recovery Act fund. As quoted on former Miami mayor Manny Diaz’s blog, “The money would be used to install Smart Meters, upgrades of electric network, installation of solar panels on some municipal and school buildings and tests to accelerate the development of new products and services focusing on energy efficiency and renewable power generation.” In October 2009, Miami received the $200-million stimulus needed to begin its energy-efficiency makeover. The program will start as Energy Smart Miami and then extend statewide to Energy Smart Florida. Electric company Florida Power & Light will install 2.6 million “Smart Meters” in Miami residences and businesses over the next two years. FPL plans to invest another $378 million for Energy Smart Florida. General Electric, Cisco Systems, the city of Miami, FPL and Silver Springs Network will work together to revolutionize the energy grid in Miami. What this means for residents is that their homes may receive a Smart Meter, which would allow them to go online and see how much energy they are using by the month, the day and the hour. When consumers are more informed about their energy usage, policymakers believe that they will better conserve energy. Ideally, the Smart Meters will show consumers how much energy each appliance is using, making it easier to eliminate waste. During the implementation, FPL will add 300 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to its company, and these vehicles will also be given trials at University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, Florida International University and the city of Miami. Energy Smart Miami plans to install about 50 charging stations around the city. It is the city’s hope that the stimulus money and Energy Smart Miami will spur new green jobs and boost Miami’s economy. Energy Smart Miami is expected to create 800 to 1,000 new jobs over the next few years. Knowing exactly how much energy your air conditioner uses per hour might inspire you to turn on a fan or open a window instead. Miami officials have high hopes that the plan will be a catalyst for a brighter, more efficient future. Read about the environmental issues facing South Florida.