smart meters

US gas, water and electric utility KUB last week announced its plans to kickstart an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) programme in July this year.According to KUB, its US$54m project will aim replacement of some 400,000 traditional gas, water and electric meters with smart meters by 2020.

The development will help the utility to optimise its revenue collection through improved networks management achieved via implementation of energy and water efficiency programmes.

The smart meters will also allow the utility to detect gas and water leakages as well as meter tempering.

Under the project, the utility plans to enhance communication on resources usages with its electric, gas, water, and wastewater consumers in Knoxville and parts of 7 surrounding counties through launch of a new website.

In the project’s first two years of implementation, KUB said it will install 200 units a day and 600 meters a day as from 2018.

Plans to launch the project follow a successful trial of some 6,000 smart meters in utility’s  University of Tennessee/Fort Sanders service area under a $8.4m pilot project carried out from 2010 to 2014.

[quote]Eddie Black, KUB senior vice president said the smart meters, consumers will be able to track electricity, water, wastewater and gas usage, and get estimated costs of each per hour.

“This information should help customers see where their money is going and spot opportunities to save,” Black reiterated.

US utilities and AMI adoption

In early March, US utility Orange Water and Sewerage Authority (OWASA) also announced its plan to include in its budget US$6m to fund the implementation of a water meters project.

OWASA said the project will include the installation of an AMI solution including small radio transmitters on water meters.

The radio transmitter will allow OWASA remote and accurate meter data collection.

Todd Taylor, general manager of operations at OWASA said: “[the system] eliminates the need for someone to drive or walk the community to collect this information monthly, as we do now” to about two-thirds of the over 21,000 meters in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Taylor added:  “Our staff would have access to these hourly reads and be able to proactively let customers know when water use patterns change.”

Implementation of the water meters project, which is set to be approved by OWASA board of directors in a hearing set to be held on 24 March, will allow consumers to access their water usage online as well as information on how to use water sustainably.