Press Release

TNMP Launches Smart Meter Deployment Along Texas Gulf Coast

Lewisville, Texas: September 19, 2011

As part of the state of Texas' long-term initiative to create a smart electric grid, TNMP has unveiled its deployment plans for smart meters in homes and businesses across its Texas service area for the next five years. This advanced digital meter rollout will give customers more energy consumption data than ever before to help them make more informed decisions on power usage.

Beginning today along the Gulf Coast and concluding in West Texas in 2016, TNMP will replace an analog meter with an advanced digital meter, commonly referred to as a smart meter, to read and communicate energy usage for more than 240,000 residential and business customers across Texas (including expected population growth).

TNMP's installation in League City will begin today and will conclude there in the second quarter of 2012, representing TNMP's second largest city deployment in Texas with more than 31,000 homes and 3,000 businesses.

"While the old, analog meters have served Texas well, smart meter technology is necessary to help modernize Texas' energy infrastructure to prepare for our future," said Allan Burke, director of retail electric provider relations for TNMP. "Although just one component, smart meters are the first – and most visible - step to help Texas build a smart, sophisticated electric grid that will more effectively manage our ever-increasing energy needs."

Giving Customers Control

Within about a week after receiving a smart meter, customers will have access to the state of Texas' secured web portal, SmartMeterTexas.com. On the site, customers can create a user name and password to read their own confidential energy usage and determine peak consumption times.

"While the immediate benefit of smart meters gives customers a wealth of data to make more informed decisions on energy usage, the sky is the limit when it comes to how we can use smart meters in the future to manage peak loads when generation costs are at the highest," Burke said. "Customers can rest assured that more advanced technology to complement smart meters is coming."

Future technologies are expected, such as programs offered by the retail electric companies that give customers the ability to monitor and regulate electricity usage via the Internet and in-home devices. In addition, a future "smart" home may have appliances that are networked together and can be operated through a home energy management system, even remotely, (such as turning off your house lights while you are at work).

Installing Advanced Technology

TNMP will install GE's SmartSynch SmartMeterTM to digitally read and capture data on power usage every 15 minutes. The device then uses two-way technology to "talk" through the existing cellular network infrastructure between one house and the homeowner's utility. This highly secure communication, which will occur once a day in the evening, will send accurate real-time meter data from the customer to the utility company.

To ensure accuracy of its smart meters, TNMP has multiple test phases in place prior to, during and after installation. TNMP's thorough testing process includes testing at GE and again at SmartSynch, random palette tests from the company's shipment, digital captures of the old meter before it is removed, and comparison testing of the old and new meters within a week of installation.

Contract installers, working on behalf of TNMP, will be dressed in a shirt with both TNMP and Utility Partners of America logos and will first knock on the homeowner's door to inform them of the installation. However, customers do not need to be home or prepare for the installation. Customers may experience a brief service interruption of up to 10 seconds during the replacement. If assistance is needed to access the meter, TNMP will leave directions on the door to call 877-423-3199 to schedule an installation.

Looking Ahead

Following League City, TNMP will install smart meters in Dickinson, Texas City and La Marque in 2012. TNMP will conclude its Gulf Coast installation in 2014 and move to North Texas, followed by Central Texas in 2015 and West Texas in 2016.

TNMP is communicating the smart meter installation details with customers through a direct mail campaign prior to installation and a door hanger the day of the attempted installation. In addition, TNMP is launching a consumer education campaign that will include advertising and participation at various community events.

TNMP's $113.4-million deployment plan, including a monthly, residential customer surcharge of $3.40 for 12 years on residential energy bills, has been approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The plan includes a monthly surcharge for business customers that ranges from $8.20 to $17.32, based on total energy consumption. TNMP plans to conduct a cost reconciliation at least once every three years, which could result in a cost adjustment for business customers prior to the end of the 12 years.

TNMP is the fourth and last transmission and distribution service provider to install smart meters in Texas. According to IDC Energy Insights' Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker in September 2011, almost 90 million smart meters have been installed globally. The company forecasts nearly 490 million smart meter installations by 2015. For more information, customers can visit TNMP.com, SmartMeterTexas.com or contact their retail electric provider.

Founded in 1935, TNMP is a transmission and distribution service provider that delivers power to 76 cities with more than 230,000 customers, and on behalf of 65 retail electric providers in Texas. TNMP's formal name is Texas-New Mexico Power Co., but it now only serves Texas. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of PNM Resources.

Media contact
Eric Paul: 409-949-5685

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