Within a few seconds, Glendale Water & Power employee Stephen Kim installed the last of the city’s 120,000 smart meters at Glendale Community College.
“This is a bellwether day for us. It changes the way we do business,” said General Manager Glenn Steiger on Thursday afternoon in front of about 60 people who came to watch as Glendale capped off the first phase of its smart meter installation.
Smart meters provide real-time information about water and electricity use, allowing people to cut back during high-price periods to save money. Glendale was the first city in the nation to get federal stimulus money for installing smart grid technology in March.
The city received about $20 million in grants, but also spent its own money to complete the project.
“This is a $70-million investment we’re making. That’s a large investment,” Steiger said. “But it’s going to pay for itself in five years.”