city of columbus
Image credit: Sensus

In the US state of Ohio, the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities has partnered with Sensus to improve customer services for water and electric customers.

Sensus is providing the utility with its FlexNet communication network, Stratus IQ electric meters for residential customers and SmartPoint radio modules for water meters.

The communication network will provide a two-way system which both the smart water and electric meters will leverage for secure, fast and real-time data telemetry.

The project will help the city of Columbus to accurately measure water and electricity consumption and rapidly detect leaks or power outages for over 1.2 million residents.

Sensus will provide managed services and software-as-a-service solutions to the city of Columbus over a period of 20 years.

The initial deployment of new metering technology is underway and the project should be completed within the next four years.

The department will also launch the Sensus Customer Portal to streamline customer communication.

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Brian Haemmerle, an assistant administrator with the city’s Division of Water, said:  “We want to provide our customers with timely consumption data so they can understand their water and electricity usage.

“We’ll enhance our services with real-time alerts, so if there’s an issue we can get it resolved quickly or inform the customer it needs to be addressed on their end.”

According to Heammerle, the smart utility network will create greater operational efficiency and will allow the city’s water division to improve focus on the details within the entire water distribution system.

“On the electricity side, we’ll have the latest technology for power quality and outage management. We’ll empower our customers to opt-in for access to their usage data—even in one-hour increments—before they receive their bill,” he said.

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Nicholas Nhede
Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.