Jefferson Public Utilities to purchase 19,000 Itron smart meters

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The Jefferson County Public Utilities District will partner with Itron to deploy its advanced metering infrastructure programme.

The two will collaborate in implementing the AMI project following a decision made by the board of commissioners at Jefferson County Public Utilities District to purchase smart meters for its electric customers from Itron.

The US utility had in February issued a request for proposal for the supply and installation of some 19,000 smart electric meters.

Public Utilities District grid modernisation plans

In a statement, the Jefferson Public Utilities Department said it received nine proposals from smart grid solution providers requesting to participate in the utility’s grid modernisation programme.

Of all the proposals received, Itron’s quotation was the least expensive. In total, the utility department expects to invest $2.5 million towards the smart meters programme. The installation process will start end of 2017 and will last for 4 years.

The installation of the advanced smart electric meters will help the energy provider to accurately bill its customers as majority of its existing automated electric meters are old and inaccurately recording consumer energy usage data.

The programme is being funded by the utility department at no cost to its customers. In addition to accuracy in billing, the smart meters will also help in improving customers services through the provision of real-time data regarding the performance of grid system.

Jefferson County Public Utilities District will, in turn, use the provided data to improve its response to power outages, detect power theft and enhance the efficiency of its power distribution to keep its energy tariffs low.

The system will help reduce operational costs associated with manual meter readings since advanced smart electric meters will remotely send energy usage data to the utility’s central data hub for billing purposes.

In using the current metering system, the Jefferson County Public Utilities District is spending $335,000 per annum in paying third party manual meter readers.

The energy company provides services to some 19,000 electric, 4,400 water and 300 sewer customers in the US state of Washington and expects to recover its capital invested towards the smart meters programme within 5 to 7 years.

 

Image Credit: 123rf

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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.