Salt River Project’s smart meter rollout nears completion


Ronald B. Via,
Elster Electricity 
Phoenix, AZ, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 6, 2007 – U.S. utility Salt River Project continues to install approximately 10,000 smart meters a month and is on track to complete the deployment of 100,000 meters by May 2007. The installation forms part of the utility’s EnergyAxis System expansion project, and is using REX meters from Elster Electricity.

The on-going expansion includes an additional 20,000 REX meters with internal service control switches, bringing the total number of REX meters with remote connect/disconnect capability to 45,000.

Since deploying the EnergyAxis System, SRP has been able to read all the REX meters in the system on a daily basis, and has seen a saving of 85,000 miles in vehicle expenses, with 85,000 field orders having been completed remotely. In the past 12 months alone, SRP has completed over 9,000 remote connects and disconnects. Every REX meter in the SRP system is programmed to collect time-of-use data. This allows SRP to offer TOU rates to customers who normally would not have this option available because of access restrictions (locked gates, vicious dogs, and so on.). For customers choosing these rates, the switch to TOU billing can be made almost immediately and without the normal field visit.

"The savings we have seen from our automated daily reads and being able to remotely handle service calls from the office make the system virtually pay for itself. Our operational expenses keep going lower as we expand the number of meters in the field," remarked John Soethe, manager of revenue cycle services for SRP.  

"With the EnergyAxis System a user can start an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) on a small scale and move through full scale implementation in stages. Starting small and expanding a system is a great strategy for companies who do not want to lay out a big capital expenditure at one time. The cost savings that grow with each expansion can be significant and becomes a great source of capital for future expansions," said Ronald B. Via, vice president of Elster Electricity.