North Carolina utility partners on smart meter rollout


The city is partnering with Vanguard Utility Service in equipping consumers with advanced water meters.

Commenting on how the new system would help the utility, Jim Behmer, the utility director at Salisbury, said: “The new system will help SRU analyse, efficiently detect, and minimise water loss.

“After the project is complete, customers will have the opportunity to access their water usage from their own computer or a phone app and possibly detect early leaks themselves.”

The project is anticipated to run for six months and help SRU to accurately bill its customers and to reduce operational expenses resulting from manual meter readings.

The smart meter project will include the deployment of a wireless technology which will enable remote data telemetry between the smart meters and the city hall.

According to a local publication, SRU will use social media platforms in notifying consumers in different regions the date and time they will have their analogue water meters replaced with the new meters.

Metering infrastructure upgrades

Meanwhile, the city of Elizabeth in North Carolina plans to invest $3.75 million in upgrading its water and electricity infrastructure.

According to local media, Elizabeth will partner with NexGrid in developing a smart grid system to optimise the efficiency of its water and electricity distribution systems.

The project will direct $2.25 million in funds toward the installation of smart electric meters, load management switches and other smart grid technologies and grid assets.

The $2.25 million will come from the city’s electrical fund whilst $1.5 million for the installation of smart water meters will be sourced from the water-sewer fund.

Rich Olson, the manager at Elizabeth City, said: “The implementation process will take a year, 18 months, maybe two years to be implemented.”

The smart grid project will be implemented in phases and will help consumers to make use of their energy and water consumption data to improve their efficiency and reduce utility bills.

Olson added: “And the other thing which is important right now because of what’s going on in the community — there will be a private portal that allows an individual citizen, on their smartphone or device, to look at their electrical meter and chart what their electrical consumption is.

“It’s real-time data…I know there are people that believe somehow we’re playing with data, manipulating data or whatever, but they’ll be able to see it first-hand.”

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