The Allentown, Pa.-based PPL said that the $38 million project would pilot the use of what it calls "smart" technology.
The testing would focus on electric service for 60,000 customers in the Harrisburg area. PPL is applying for $19 million in stimulus dollars.
Hundreds of new electrical devices would be installed and linked to a centralized computer system.
The technology could help appliances use less electricity and detect outages more quickly and isolate them by routing power around them until repairs are made.
PPL provides electric service to 1.4 million customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania.