Exelon Corporation (EXC), Ameren Corp (AEE), PPL Corporation (PPL): A Trio of Dividend Stocks Getting Smart About Smart Grids

Utilities are, generally speaking, stupid. Markets are inundated with shoddy pricing and inefficient infrastructure. But recent investments by innovative companies are pushing smart grid growth to become top priority. Here are three dividend stocks getting smart about smart grids.

1. Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC)’s excellence
Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC)‘s three regulated utilities are no stranger to smart grids. Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) has installed 287,000 meters, while Pennsylvania’s PECO has put in 364,000 year to date. BGE expects another 980,000 by year’s end, and ComEd in Illinois will begin with 60,000.

Source: Comed.com 

Smart meters mean savings for both Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) and its customers. By tracking real-time prices throughout the day, meters directly reward electricity users for conserving energy during peak periods. For nuclear-centric Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC), that means the utility can take greater advantage of its expensive to build, but cheap to operate, base load nuclear plants throughout the day.

Lower power prices hit the utility hard this past quarter, and any cost-competitive advantage it can muster is a must for a utility with scale on its side.

2. Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE)’s analyzing
 Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE) isn’t letting Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) have all the fun in Illinois. The utility opened the doors to its $3.3 million testing facility this week, paving the way for something smart grids still need more of – proof.

A controversial smart grid bill made Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE)’s (and Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC)’s) investment possible, and the utility is making the most of its hard-fought win. Ameren Corp (NYSE:AEE) expects to spend an additional $643 million over the next 10 years, and smart grids will play a key role in its infrastructure modernization. Its testing facility features a substation, circuit feeders, and the ability to test both utility-scale technology, as well as household-level products.

3. PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL)’s pilot project
PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL)‘s smart grid pilot project points to another major win for utilities and customers – reliability. A three-year, $38 million, government-financed project resulted in significant reliability improvements for PPL’s 60,000 test subjects. With less than a year since the project finished up, PPL reported this week that service reliability is up 38% in its “smarter” area.