Oncor has announced that over the next several months, it will begin installing new smart meters in homes and small businesses in its Plano metering district, which includes the City of McKinney.

This installation is part of Oncor’s Advanced Metering System (AMS) rollout to more than 3 million homes and small businesses in its entire Texas service area by 2012 and is expected to be one of the broadest deployments of technology on an electric grid in the nation.

The deployment includes replacing the electromechanical meters used today, containing 50-year old technology with limited capabilities, with new digital smart meters that will provide more valuable information than ever before, according to a press release.

The new smart meters will enable numerous benefits for consumers and small business owners including energy consumption control, greater cost savings on electricity, carbon footprint reduction and greater electric delivery reliability, the press release says.

“Once the new smart meters are deployed, the opportunities for how we manage our energy consumption are remarkable,” Michael Baldwin, Oncor’s Area Manager for McKinney, said in a news release. “Consumers will be able to take an active role in how much they are spending on electricity and understand their patterns of consumption so they can change behaviors that could result in lower electricity costs and reduced environmental impact.”

Until now, consumers have played a more passive role in their energy consumption. Electric bills provide little information and are delivered days after consumption; but once the AMS deployment is complete, electricity consumption and pricing will be transparent.

Consumers will ultimately be able to track energy consumption online in 15-minute increments and soon Retail Electric Providers (REPs) will offer in-home energy monitors so consumers will know how much they are spending on electricity at any given time.

The new AMS will also provide greater reliability by enabling Oncor to proactively respond to problems and outages faster and more effectively, reducing the overall impact of outages to consumers and small businesses, the news release says.

Consumers will be notified by door hangers when their meter is about to be installed and the day it has been installed. To learn more about how the new meters work and the benefits they provide, consumers can go to www.smarttexas.com.

Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers.

Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to more than 3 million homes and businesses and operating approximately 118,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas.

While Oncor is owned by a limited number of investors (including majority owner, Energy Future Holdings Corp.), Oncor is managed by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of a majority of independent directors.