New Hampshire Electric Co-op Inc. (NHEC, Plymouth, New Hampshire, U.S.) engaged Plexus Research Inc. (Boxborough, Massachusetts, U.S.) to facilitate its investigation of technical and economic issues of metering, meter reading and load control. The utility is examining its business requirements, technology alternatives, and the preliminary business case for an investment to improve its ability to serve its members.
NHEC serves about 75,000 meters throughout New Hampshire. The territory is concentrated in the geographic center of the state, and also includes separate areas in the north and south regions of New Hampshire. The dispersed land area, rural and suburban diversity and mountainous terrain present substantial technical challenges for customer communication and service. Plexus Research is expert in the technologies for customer interaction. The firm helps utilities evaluate complex options and choose the best alternatives.
NHEC has regularly reviewed the costs, benefits and potential strategic value of AMR and load control technologies. The utility now operates a radio load control system that, with other operating resources, helps manage energy costs for co-op members. New technologies can expand both the range and the capability of the system.
Supported by Plexus Research, NHEC is estimating the value produced by automated remote meter reading (AMR) and load control technologies the utility could deploy throughout the service territory. New technologies make it possible for some utilities to reduce operating costs and also to serve energy users in new ways that may have important value to co-op members. NHEC is examining a variety of potential services to members, including various billing and bill payment options, energy information and management services, and property management support.
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