North Georgia’s electric distribution cooperative, Sawnee Electric Membership Corp. (Sawnee EMC), has chosen Sensus' FlexNet Smart Grid system to provide real-time monitoring to its members. Smart meters will be installed to bring the services that the FlexNet system provides to the cooperative’s 150,000 accounts. Sensus is installing its iCon smart meters for the total deployment, which is expected to be completed in late 2012.
Sawnee officials chose the FlexNet system after a diligent evaluation process of available technologies. Sensus’ FlexNet system caught their attention first because the system operates on licensed and FCC-protected primary-use spectrum, which lowers infrastructure and maintenance costs. And, because of the technology’s ability to supply real-time, on-demand data, EMC saw the opportunity for enhanced customer service. EMC has already established a user-friendly Web site that invites customers to view and analyze their own usage.
In marketing the new program to its customers, Sawnee outlined the benefits of eliminating estimated bills, employing remote information collection to avoid visiting customer properties, and giving access to daily and hourly energy usage information via a secure online portal. Customers were also informed of power theft prevention strategies in place, the availability of a more detailed billing statement, and the ability of the EMC to more quickly detect and correct outages and interruptions.