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PPL requests approval for $450 million electric meter plan

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PPL Electric Utilities is asking the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to approve the replacement of its electric meters with new meters that will improve service to customers.

"Our electric meters are approaching the end of their useful life and we want to be proactive in replacing them," said Robert M. Geneczko, vice president of customer services. "Technology has changed significantly since these meters were installed, and we’re looking forward to the expanded capabilities that will create benefits for our customers."

The new meters will give customers access to additional energy-saving tools for their homes or businesses, PPL said in a news release. They also will improve service reliability through better detection of power outages. The meters are expected to last 15 years, PPL spokesman Paul Wirth said this morning.

In addition, the new meters will be in full compliance with state-mandated regulations on metering technology, the release said.

In a plan filed with the PUC Monday, PPL proposes to replace its 1.4 million electric meters between 2017 and 2019. The estimated cost of the replacement, including all of the related communications and computer system infrastructure, is about $450 million.

Customers would not see an immediate effect on their bills. Charges for the new meters would be phased in over time, beginning in 2015, the release said. Charges would then decrease after the installation period. The average residential customer will pay an average of $2.79 per month over the 15 years the meters are in service, Wirth said.

Business meter charges will vary depending on their size, he added.

PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corp., provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania.

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