T&D World Magazine

Paygo Electric, Nighthawk Enable Utilities to Deploy Customer Self-Service Prepaid Electric Solutions

PayGo Electric, the real-time prepaid electric provider for utilities, has announced an agreement with Nighthawk today. Under the agreement, PayGo’s fully integrated, cloud-based suite with customer CIS, payment processing, IVR, MDM, and notification suite, will be embedded in Nighthawk’s RDM 950 solution for the Centron II electric meter. The Nighthawk RDM 950 extends the value of existing AMR deployments by using public cellular networks to enable utilities to roll out PayGo either one meter at a time or as a full system deployment.

Unlike previous prepayment systems, there are no trips required outside of the home to purchase additional electricity and no daily estimating and settlement issues. With PayGo, customers can call the utility to recharge, reload their account directly with a cell phone or PDA, make online payments, recharge at various retail outlets, or use a number of additional payment methods. Because PayGo continually recalculates the remaining balance at the meter based on actual consumption and alerts customers as they reach predetermined levels, the solution is accurate. Prior estimation-based prepay systems that average consumption or use daily meter reads contain inherent accuracy risks that have frustrated consumers, burdened utilities with customer service issues, and concerned regulators. Industry data also reports energy savings of as much as 10% where prepay programs are implemented.

“Through this relationship with PayGo, utilities can quickly add prepayment to their existing ability to enable remote disconnects, read on demand, voltage information, and other critical functions with the Centron II Nighthawk solution. Nighthawk delivers features that enhance customer satisfaction, reduce utility costs, and can pay back in as little as a year,” said Nighthawk Co-CEO Charles Kitowski.

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