SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KCBS) _ An even smarter smart meter system will soon be installed in the city of Santa Clara, where the local utility will read electricity usage using the city’s Wi-Fi system.

The new meters will, in a sense, “talk” to one another transmitting messages and correcting themselves automatically.

“So if there’s an issue, we can find a path through other meters,” said Mark Munday, President and CEO of Elster Solutions of North Carolina.

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The company has been contracted by Silicon Valley Power to install the smart meter system.

Utility spokesman Larry Owens said the meters will piggy-back onto the city’s already existing Wi-Fi network.

“We’ve been testing it for use with multiple things including bringing back meter reading,” said Owens.

He said they are taking their installations slowly, given the controversies surrounding PG&E’s smart meters, which have reportedly caused spikes in some power bills.

“I guess because a person is not familiar with them, it’s a concern,” said one Santa Clara resident.

She said she wishes she knew more about how smart meters work.

Smart meters for commercial customers will go out sometime next year, followed by residential customers in 2012.

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