Assemblywoman Galef Introduces Legislation to Reduce Electrical Costs for Westchester County Residents

Westchester County gets go ahead for pilot program
June 15, 2007

Assemblywoman Sandra Galef joined with the Westchester County Board of Legislators to announce legislation (A.8739) enabling Westchester County to develop and implement a Real Time Pricing-Smart Metering Pilot Program for residential electricity consumers throughout the County.

Real time smart meters display the cost of electricity at the moment of usage so that residents can see what their electricity costs in real time. It is anticipated that consumers would adjust their usage to avoid high costs, saving money and energy.

Galef said that this bill will enable households to consciously utilize electricity during cheaper, off-peak times of the day and night, thereby gaining control of their electricity usage and costs. Right now residential electricity consumers do not have that control since the electricity prices are average costs often calculated days in advance. Industrial and commercial entities throughout New York State and large residential buildings in New York City already have the option to use real time smart meters. In these cases, energy usage has shifted to the off-peak, less expensive times of day and night.

“Real time smart meters will reduce electrical costs, and will decrease the stress placed on electrical power plants and the national electrical grid, due to a shift in demand from peak times to off-peak times,” Galef proclaimed. “There will be fewer blackouts and service disruptions.”

In Westchester County, real time pricing will allow customers to choose between roughly $2.16 per kilowatt hour during peak hours and roughly 9.8 cents per kilowatt hour during off-peak hours. Galef added, “With some more conscious scheduling of our activities, such as using a dishwasher or a laundry machine, we could see significant savings on our electrical bills.”