Allentown, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 5, 2007 – PPL Electric Utilities’ efforts to install advanced metering technology and give customers greater information about how and when they use electricity have earned the company a top industry award for metering initiatives.
On October 1, 2007 the company announced that it has been named the winner of the Utility Planning Network’s 2007 award for Best Metering Data Integration Initiative, which recognizes the use of electric meter data to benefit consumers.
“We’re honored that our peers have recognized our efforts,” said Robert M. Geneczko, vice president of Customer Services for PPL Electric Utilities. “The improvements we’re making will help customers better manage their electricity use, allow us to provide new rate options to customers by 2010 and enable competitive suppliers to offer unique pricing options to our customers.”
The key to those improvements is PPL Electric Utilities’ addition of a new information management system that enables the company to track, store and manage hourly electricity-use information from all of its 1.4 million automated meters. The new system, developed by Nexus Energy Software, was added in late 2006 and is the largest operational system of its kind in North America.
“With manual meter reading, we would never be able to collect the level of information we collect automatically today,” Geneczko said. “The real exciting part, though, is what we can do with that information.”
He said the company’s customer service representatives are already using the detailed usage information to help customers better understand how they use energy and to answer questions or concerns about electricity bills.
The company is also taking steps to give customers access to this detailed information through the web. Today, customers can view up to two years of monthly usage history through PPL Electric Utilities’ Energy Analyzer. The company’s next steps are to provide hourly information to large industrial and commercial customers via the Energy Analyzer this fall. At the same time, the company plans to provide daily information to all residential customers.
“With that information, customers will be able to understand, like never before, how and when they use energy in their home,” he said. “That knowledge will help them make better decisions about how to save energy and money.”
The information also will support new pricing initiatives, such as time-of-use rate options and energy conservation programs.
Geneczko said the company’s efforts are all part of its ‘e-power’ initiative to help customers use electricity more wisely. The company is also evaluating a range of programs, including compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats, to help customers save.
In addition to supporting the e-power program, he said, the company’s advanced metering system helps pinpoint outages so that crews can restore power more quickly. And it enables the company to confirm when service has been restored. In the future, detailed usage information from the system will enable the company to better forecast customer demand and plan improvements to its system.