BWP’s Smart Grid Program will Address Energy Needs of Burbank Residents More Efficiently and Effectively

BURBANK, Calif. (April 7, 2011) -- Burbank Water and Power’s (BWP) citywide Smart Grid initiative in Burbank will allow the city and its residential customers to take advantage of evolving technology and innovations in water and energy. Smart Grid describes the modern electric infrastructure composed of advanced meters and systems for enhanced customer and utility efficiency.

With Smart Grid, BWP aims to: * Enhance and enable customer water and energy efficiency through choice and control; * Improve and optimize efficiency and reliability; * Reduce CO2 emissions; * Support plug-in electric vehicles; and * Integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar “The Smart Grid program is the next step in providing our customers the best service possible for a changing world,” said Joanne Fletcher, BWP’s Assistant General Manager of Customer Service and Marketing. “For the last century, BWP has maintained Burbank’s utility system to the highest standards by incorporating new technology. As we move toward the next 100 years of service, BWP will continue this commitment.” BWP held a community meeting on March 23 at the Buena Vista Library to provide a face-to-face opportunity to further discuss Burbank’s Smart Grid initiative and address any questions about the project. Planning and engineering for the Smart Grid has been underway for several years in Burbank. Much of the Smart Grid upgrades will be invisible to the community, such as the installation of new utility management systems and parts of the communication system. However, the upgrades also include new water and electric meters capable of handling two-way communication. A pilot group of meters and the communication network have been installed and are currently operating efficiently. Full implementation of the smart meters is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. As part of the upgrade, BWP will send a letter 2-3 weeks in advance to notify customers that a BWP employee will be changing their meters. Customers do not have to be present during the installation. The new meters will help BWP improve customer service by keeping BWP updated on how the system is performing, alerting BWP if service has been interrupted or if the service quality needs attention. With this information, the utility can make more informed decisions to better manage the entire system and respond more quickly to problems at individual addresses. The current system does not provide an instant alert system when there is an interruption of service. Instead, BWP must rely on residents to report a problem. The Smart Grid program is part of BWP’s ongoing commitment to provide Burbank residents with safe, reliable and affordable services and to work to preserve the Earth’s natural resources. The program also will help Burbank meet its goal of supplying 33 percent of its customers’ energy needs from renewable resources by 2020. More information about the Smart Grid program, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available at Contact: Jeanette Meyer, Marketing Manager This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 818-238-3562