In a surprising move, DP&L asked the Public Utility Commission of Ohio to be allowed to withdraw its Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Smart Grid business cases that were approved in June 2009. Reserving the right to revisit AMI and Smart Grid deployment in the future, DP&L cited factors beyond its reasonable control in the memo filed with the PUCO. Not getting a slice of the stimulus funds pie that its fellow Buckeye peers received – $75 million for AEP, $200 million for Duke Energy and $57 million for FirstEnergy – was a contributing factor. These other utilities will continue their respective smart meter deployments. The Commission granted DP&L’s motion on January 5, 2011.
DP&L’s caution is not unfounded given the ongoing drama facing PG&E and its smart meter program, which is still reeling from a revolt by a segment of the public wary over possible privacy intrusions and misplaced fears of physical harm. Xcel, the pioneer of SmartGridCity in Boulder, Colorado, also was dealt a setback recently by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that temporarily slashed its smart grid cost recovery slashed its smart grid cost recovery by roughly a third. And in Westerville, Ohio, the city cancelled its smart meter plan last year amid fears by skeptics that smart meters will erode privacy. However, the city council this week approved the installation of smart meters for businesses and some schools.