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El Paso Electric Seeks Approval for Advanced Meter Deployment Plan

April 23, 2021
The utility's Texas service territory will join the rest of the state in offering AMS, laying the foundation for grid modernization.

Access to detailed energy use and billing information; quicker response times to power outages; empowered customers with energy-saving tools; and improved customer service. El Paso Electric (EPE) expects to make these benefits normal for all customers with the deployment of its Advanced Metering System (AMS). The utility recently filed its AMS Deployment Plan for approval by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). With 80% of EPE's service territory located in West Texas, the utility's Texas service territory will join the rest of the state in offering this technology and its accompanying services to its customers.

"Every other major city in Texas has proven that this technology not only works but goes beyond by empowering customers with information and data on how to improve their energy usage. At the same time, it enables the electric utility to respond quickly to customer demand and outages," said EPE CEO Kelly A. Tomblin. "Our intention of introducing AMS to our region is to provide our Texas customers with the energy management tools they deserve that the rest of the state has come to know and enjoy for the last several years. These tools will become even more important as we increase transportation electrification and want to offer dynamic electric prices that provide lower rates during low-cost periods."

With the implementation of AMS technology, EPE will establish the foundation for grid modernization technologies that will enable significant customer benefits. The innovative technology inside advanced meters will allow for two-way communication between meters and EPE, offering customers:

  • Improved access to energy data - Detailed, near-real-time usage information gives customers more visibility and control over their energy use. Fifteen-minute data increments will show residential customers their own energy use patterns and times of day they use the most energy. For commercial customers, this would be every 5 minutes.
  • Faster restoration - Outage locations and problems can be identified more efficiently, allowing for faster power restoration.
  • Enhanced customer service - The data gathered by advanced meters will assist Customer Care representatives in expediting and more effectively addressing customer billing questions and concerns.
  • Control costs - Customers can monitor costs with online access to customized energy usage analytics and get personalized tips to help avoid high bills.
  • Even more pricing options - Identify and take advantage of dynamic customer pricing programs like time-of-use, prepay and other pricing rates that best match individual energy consumption behavior.
  • Remote meter reading and activation - Advanced meters can be read and controlled remotely by EPE, meaning no more waiting for estimated bills or meter read technicians, allowing for easier service activations or transfers.
  • Energy comparisons - Data analytics can help customers review and understand how their energy use compares with the previous year and to that of neighboring homes.

EPE's AMS Deployment Plan, if approved, will begin with the implementation of data management systems and the installation of the communication network in 2022. Deployment of over 400,000 meters will follow thereafter, starting in 2023 with expected completion in 2025.

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