Signed after approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the contract represents one of the largest new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) deployments in North America.

Under the multi-year contract, Accenture Smart Grid Services will advise FirstEnergy on managing its AMI program by providing services in program management, business process design, change impact and communications, vendor management, solution architecture, testing and smart metering network operations domains.

FirstEnergy Energy Efficiency vice president John Dargie said the smart meters will ultimately create a two-way communication between the company and customers helping the company better understand their energy needs, improve its service, and balance supply and demand more efficiently.

"After a rigorous selection process, we chose Accenture due to its extensive experience in smart metering deployments and we look forward to leveraging this experience to help us de-risk the implementation and allow us to meet our timeline," Dargie added.

More than two million smart meters are scheduled to be installed by FirstEnergy over the next several years, meeting all the functional and business requirements outlined in Act 129 passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2008.

Apart from delivering significant operational efficiencies, the new AMI platform is expected to support new and existing customer services programs, and enable FirstEnergy to gain actionable business insights through better visibility into real-time data.