In the US, the Norway City Council in Michigan state, is to install an automated metering system for city utilities provided by Sensus.
Sensus was awarded the US$728,368 contract, succeeding against North Carolina-based Elster Metering for electric smart meters and Badger Meter for water smart meters.
The AMI system will be deployed over a five year period, which will allow city utilities to employ innovative rate design.
Utility superintendent Joe Pickart explained: “Instead of having a fixed kilowatt hour, the city could implement a time-of-use rate for peak times and off-peak times.
“In addition, residents with internet access will be able to log on to an online site to see how much energy and water they are using.”
Georgia Power pre-pay smart meters
Atlanta-based, Georgia Power Company, has begun offering its smart meter customers a pre-paid electricity service.
The utility's prepay program was launched in October 2014 . More than 1,400 customers have signed up.
Georgia Power had conducted a pilot with cloud-based, utility customer engagement and payment software company, PayGo Electric, to ensure that it solutions could integrate with the utility’s billing system.
The pilot also determined ways in which customers could top-up their accounts at all hours of the day.
Through its pre-paid service, Georgia Power offers its customers at least three alerts as balances run low, but customers can choose to set up additional alerts based on their preferred parameters.
Georgia Power relied on smart meters to offer the pre-pay service, which features a remote connect/disconnect switch that allows customers to opt out should they wish to do so.
Says Michael Garrett, customer service operations manager at Georgia Power “We’re very excited about the customer response we’re getting.
“So far, the satisfaction rate is very high.” The utility expects 15% of its customers to choose it pre-pay offering in the next to 3-5 years.
Georgia Power has a customer base of approximately two million customers.