Elster has announced a multi-year agreement to supply smart grid solutions and smart meters to Black Hills Energy’s residential and business customers in the electric utility’s Pueblo, Colorado, service area.
The smart meter deployment will allow Black Hills Energy to test energy conservation options for its customers. The pilot program will use Elster’s EnergyAxis System to further provide customers with safe, reliable electricity.
Elster’s EnergyAxis System will collect customer usage information such as load profile, demand, and time-of-use (TOU) information to analyze the distribution system and determine if system improvements are needed. The company will deploy smart meters as part of Phase I of the multi-phase program.
“This is an important investment in a proven technology,” said Gary Stone, vice president, Black Hills Energy, Colorado electric operation. “Because they can be read remotely, smart meters do not require us to send workers out to read them in person, reducing gas costs, labor expenses and vehicle maintenance.
“The benefits of Elster’s EnergyAxis system include a more efficient, accurate way to read meters. Customer convenience also is improved when meters are read remotely as it increases the number of actual reads and their accuracy, and reduces the need for a company representative to enter customers’ property,” he said.
Using wireless technology, smart meters automatically send customer usage information directly to the utility’s computer system, ensuring that customer usage information is accurate, recorded regularly and eliminates the need for meter readers to enter customers’ property. Pending the successful outcome of the Phase I of the project, Black Hills Energy will continue the installation of smart meters on homes and businesses in its territory within the next year or two.