OG&E is seeking approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission to recover costs for the installation of smart meters and related smart grid technology in the area.

If the Commission approves the plan, OG&E plans to begin installation of about 70,000 smart meters and associated smart technology in the second half of 2011.

Smart meters supported by in-home tools and time-of-day pricing plans, will provide customers opportunities to make energy-use decisions, the firm has claimed.

It will enable consumers to shift demand from hours when electricity costs are at their highest, to lower-cost times of day, saving money on their monthly bills.

Smart technology uses the networking capabilities of the new meters to a secure wireless network to allow the firm to read meters remotely.

Other smart grid devices are set to add greater automation to OG&E’s electricity distribution system, reducing the frequency and duration of outages.

The full roll-out of smart technology including new meters, in-home technology, a wide area network (WAN) and distribution system automation, is due to be completed around 2017.