Q&A: Customer's Questions Fort Collins Smart Meter Utility Project

Jan. 27, 2014
Q&A: Customer's Questions Fort Collins Smart Meter Utility Project

General Project Information on Fort Collins & Elster Project

Q: What is the advanced metering project?
A: Right now, it's fairly basic. Fort Collins Utilities is upgrading mechanical electric and water meters
in homes, schools and businesses throughout the community with electronic devices that will enable two way digital communication between the meter and the utility. The meter upgrade will involve replacing electric meters and installing transmitters on water meters. All meters in the Utilities' service area
will be replaced.

Q: How are advanced meters different from what we have now?
A: The new meters will provide wireless communication between meters and the utility, eliminating the need to send a technician to customers' homes and businesses to manually read meters. Over 500 of our larger commercial customers have had these meters since 1995.

Q: Will the new meters read both water and electric use?
A: Utilities will read the meters for the utility services Fort Collins Utilities provides to your home or business.

Q: How can I access the data provided by the new meters?
A: In the future, a website and online portals will provide usage information for customers who want to review their data. Each customer will have access only to their own data. 

Q: Are other communities pursuing advanced metering projects?
A: Fort Collins Utilities is among 100 utilities nationwide to receive grants to develop a "smart" utility grid for advanced metering. The Fort Collins grant award includes participation from the City of Fountain. These projects are independent of each other, with each city covering its own share of project expenses. In our region, Fort Collins–Loveland Water District, Poudre Valley REA and Colorado Springs Utilities are implementing similar advanced metering programs even though they are not grant recipients. Benefits

Q: What makes this meter project "advanced?"
A: Existing mechanical electric meters will be replaced with electronic meters, and a transmitter will be installed on water meters. This will allow two-way communication between the meters and the utility, giving customers data that will allow them to better understand and manage utility use and costs. It also allows the Utilities to provide better service to our community. 

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