Kelowna, BC, Canada — (METERING.COM) — July 30, 2012 – British Columbia utility FortisBC has filed an application to deploy an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project with the BC Utilities Commission.
The utility plans to exchange close to 115,000 manually read meters with advanced meters and incorporating the supporting hardware and software across its electricity service territory in BC’s southern interior.
The project is expected to cost approximately $48 million and to save customers $19 million over the life of the project. Meter exchanges would begin in 2014 and be complete by the end of 2015.
“FortisBC believes this project will provide enhanced customer service and better value for our customers,” said Tom Loski, vice president of customer service at FortisBC. “When the project is complete, our electricity customers will have a chance for the first time to see in near real time how much electricity they are using and will be able to make more informed decisions regarding conservation.”
Besides enhanced information to help customers manage their electricity consumption, including the ability to see how much power has been used since the last bill, FortisBC will have improved ability to detect and restore power outages. In addition the company will be able to reduce electricity theft – currently estimated at $3.7 million annually.
According to a company statement the timing of the project also corresponds with new standards from Measurement Canada requiring greater meter accuracy. These enhanced accuracy requirements will require FortisBC to exchange approximately 80,000 electromechanical meters with digital meters whether the AMI project goes ahead or not.
FortisBC is also evaluating the business case for advanced meters for natural gas, but at this time has no plans for a similar deployment of remote gas meter reading technology.