PG&E’s SmartMeter program goes live with a phased customer rollout


Peter Darbee,
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 15, 2008 – U.S. utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has completed the implementation and integration of the Ecologic Analytics meter data management system (MDMS) in its production environment. Ecologic Analytics (formerly WACS) is a provider of meter data management software solutions and decision management technologies for electric, natural gas and water utilities.

PG&E began billing a portion of its customers using AMI data that has been consolidated, validated, estimated, edited and presented to PG&E’s customer information system by the Ecologic MDMS. PG&E plans to automate all 10.3+ million meters in its service territory by end of 2011 as part of its SmartMeter™ program. Meter readings and usage data from all meters are managed within the Ecologic MDMS and presented from there to the utility enterprise systems which require it.

In the current phase of its SmartMeter program, PG&E is remotely collecting daily meter reads from approximately 150,000 electric meters enabled with SmartMeter technology. Collection of at least hourly interval data from all automated meters is planned for the near future. Meanwhile, PG&E continues to collect monthly handheld reads from the remaining non-automated meters. AMI and manual meter reads are consolidated and stored in the Ecologic MDMS. The WAVETM and iWAVETM modules are key components of the Ecologic Analytics solution; these rules-based automated validation engines ensure that daily and interval data are thoroughly validated, estimated and edited prior to making them available to the enterprise for billing or other uses. Over time, PG&E’s customers will receive more detailed information and voluntary rate options to help them save money by reducing their energy usage during times of exceptionally high electricity demand.

Leading up to the go live date, the Ecologic MDMS was running in a pilot mode and processing hourly interval and daily data for over 5000 automated gas and electric meters. During the pilot stage, the MDMS passed more than 100 different test scenarios that verified both proper prioritization and configuration of rules to meet PG&E’s specifications for quality billing and compliance with the California Public Utilities Commission’s guidelines for validation, estimation and editing (VEE). In addition, the Ecologic MDMS was rigorously tested and certified by a leading third-party integrator. This third-party assessment demonstrated that Ecologic Analytics’ system can load, WAVE (validate, estimate and edit) and post billing determinants for over 10 million meters on a fully populated database. The target timeframe for completion of this test was five hours. In fact, the Ecologic MDMS completed the test in less than 90 minutes.

As PG&E progresses through the rollout of its SmartMeter program, interval meter reading data will enable advanced applications such as time-of-use billing, demand response forecasting, and more efficient outage management.