Utility Partners of America is installing nearly 40,000 digital electric meters on behalf of Spokane, Washington-based Inland Power & Light Co. The project will start in late January 2014 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
UPA is providing complete installation services including a Work Order Management System (WOMS), workflow development, a Customer Information System (CIS) interface and data and inventory management.
The new digital meters offer features that will allow Inland P&L members to better understand their electrical consumption and make more informed decisions regarding usage. The meters will also provide Inland P&L with important diagnostics that will help improve power quality, increase ways to optimize the electrical system and pinpoint outages.
The new metering system will also produce significant savings and convenience to Inland P&L members over the cost of the current meter system by reducing meter reading expenses and eliminating the need for self-reporting. About two-thirds of the members currently read their own meters and report the numbers to the co-op.
“As the adoption of digital meters continues to rise, utilities and energy cooperatives are looking for ways to expedite the installation process while ensuring customer convenience and safety,” said Lee Schwartz, CEO of Utility Partners of America. “Working side by side with Inland P&L, we are able to support the digital meter installation project by providing a team of highly-trained technicians and customer care professionals to manage the entire process. This allows Inland P&L professionals to focus on their day-to-day operations, providing low cost, reliable power. Meanwhile, thousands of Inland P&L members will be relieved of their monthly self-meter-reading duties.”
UPA works closely with utilities to establish formal meter installation procedures, with every meter technician receiving extensive training prior to performing meter installations to help them identify abnormal operating conditions.