As Glendale nears the end of its $70-million smart grid project, officials say they're out of money and need more time.
City officials said this week they have asked the U.S. Department of Energy for an extension to the March 2013 deadline to finish installing new technology to make the smart meter utility system more efficient. Hitting the deadline was a condition of receiving $20 million in federal stimulus funding for the project.
Utility officials had expected to spend $10 million on smart grid improvements this fiscal year, which started July 1, but as part of a stripped-down budget with minimal capital improvements, the City Council approved only $450,000 for that project, officials said at a recent Glendale Water & Power Commission meeting.
“Not once have I heard that the smart grid program would be decreased so dramatically in the last year,” said Commissioner Terry Chan, adding that she was surprised by and concerned about the cutbacks.