Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 9, 2009 - Colorado Springs Utilities is setting the stage for its own smart grid, with its automated meter reading (AMR) project nearing completion, the company has reported.

The company started its AMR project four years ago, and with only 80,000 meters left to install, it will soon be one of only four utilities with three service AMR capability – electric, natural gas and water. At full deployment in 2010, Springs Utilities will have installed more than 530,000 smart meters.

“This technology provides customers with a better understanding and management of their consumption, and more hands on control over the cost of their monthly bills,” said Jerry Forte, Springs Utilities’ CEO.

Using wireless radio transmitters, the system provides daily meter reads.

Gina McCurley, AMR project manager, explains that AMR, distribution automation, customer energy management and renewable generation are being combined to create the beginnings of a smart grid.

“We have actually been doing this all along,” she said.

In addition to AMR, the company recently partnered with General Electric to install a new outage management system (OMS), to help it respond quicker to power outages and provide customers with timely restoration time estimates.

“OMS will reduce the outage impacts to our customers,” said Forte. “It will provide better and more frequent communication to them, track outages in more real time, and ultimately get the power on faster.”

Once the AMR is complete, the OMS will integrate into the system for an all inclusive package.