General Electric (GE) has secured a ten-year contract with the US city of Claremore to deploy smart electric and water meters in a bid to curb revenue losses.

Under the US$9.6 million contract, GE will kickstart the metering upgrade by working with the city in Oklahoma state to replace 12,000 electric meters and 7,000 meters by January 2015.

Engineering for the wireless network is complete, with installation of the rest of the network scheduled to be finished in the next three weeks, said Larry Hughes, director of utilities for Claremore Electric.

Revenue protection

Commenting on the motivation for investing in the advanced metering infrastructure system, Mr Hughes said the new system will be able to monitor momentary outages, a problem in Claremore’s existing system.

Hughes said: “[The AMI] is going to help track outages through out system. With transformer sizing, we also have a lot of line loss. Back in the day, they would put in a big transformer, thinking that somebody was going to grow there and it didn’t. We’re going to be able to pull some of the analytics from there and actually start downsizing the transformers and quit wasting energy.”

In June 2014, the city’s did not bill for nearly 4 million kilowatt hours, losses Hughes attributed in part to inaccurate meters and oversized transformers.

“You’re never going to get that loss down to zero,” he said. “But if we can drop that down to the industry average of 8 percent, it’s ultimately going to save the customers money.”