The data will allow residents and businesses to adjust their water and energy use to save on expenses, while helping the city meet its conservation goals, Kuennen said.
“For the customer, it’s about having more information, more up-to-date information, being able to give them better answers to their questions and the customers can use that information themselves to save money,” he said.
The full-scale installation of 120,000 meters is expected to start in late August or early September, Kuennen said.
Utility Partners of America, a contracted company, will install 84,500 electric meters and 33,400 water meters for all the utility’s customers.
A worker for the company installed a series of meters with digital read-outs in the basement of an apartment building on the 2600 block of Cañada Boulevard.
Last year, the City Council approved a $28.5-million contract with Itron Inc. to buy the meters and develop the “smart grid” project. Glendale and Burbank were one of only a handful of California cities to be awarded $20 million in federal stimulus funding through the Department of Energy for smart-grid and other energy-efficiency programs.
Most homes, depending on when they were built, will get a 200- to 250-volt meter, while each apartment on Thursday received 120-volt meters.
But one of the building’s managers, Haik Torosian, said the new meters would not benefit his tenants because they wouldn’t have access to them.
“They are not going to see the numbers,” he said, adding that without constant access, the odds of their changing their behavior were low.
Still, Kuennen said residents would eventually be able to see their meter statistics on a utility website and on small in-home devices.
The new technology will also provide two-way communication between customers and the utility, officials said.
“We are pretty confident that enough people will participate and will take advantage of the new information,” Kuennen said.