City Council Meeting – Advanced Metering Infrastructure Program

Fayetteville City Council
Regular Meeting
September 9, 2013

What Happened:  On September 3, the City Council held their monthly work session.  Susan Fritzen (Chief Corporate Services Officer for the Public Works Commission) gave a presentation on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Program.  The Council voted to forward the agenda item to the meeting on September 9 for final approval.  The Council voted unanamsouly to award the contract for the program. Fayetteville will be the first municipality in North Carolina to use this new technology.  Below is a picture of an actual smart meter.

Definition of a “smart meter” – an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes.  Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system.  Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting.  Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter. (Wikipedia)

Background: (from city memo)

The Public Works Commission during their meeting of August 28, 2013 approved awarding the Connect Program to Sensus USA, Inc.  authorized the General Manager to execute contracts for $46.7 million and to forward to City Council for approval.  The Connect Program is an advanced metering infrastructure program.

What is AMI? Advanced Metering Infrastructure

  • technology used to deliver 2 way utility service thru computer-based remote control, automation and two-way communications

About the meters: (electricity)

  • data collection
  • remote disconnect
  • tamper detection
  • meter theft detection
  • voltage monitoring
  • outage detection
  • power quality monitoring

About the meters: (water)

  • leak detection – broken pipe alarm, monitors hourly usage
  • tamper detection
  • meter theft
  • remote disconnect

Benefits of the program:

  • will provide reliable coverage across entire network territory
  • cyber security standards
  • advanced technology to deliver utility services means faster customer service
  • two-way communications between the utility and customers
  • improved energy efficiency
  • improved reliability (fewer outages)
  • improved energy efficiency
  • improved reliability (fewer outages)
  • empowered and informed customers
  • opportunity to reduce purchase power cost
  • time of use rates to customers
  • prepay options from a prepaid debit card

Timeline for implementation:

Phase 1 – building advanced infrastructure, installing advanced meters (83,000 electric & 97,000 water)

Phase 2 – advanced distribution automation functionality, remote water disconnection, outdoor lighting controls

What Was Said: (September 3 work session)

Councilman Bates – “How are you going to pay for it?”

Steve Blanchard (General Manager PWC) – “Through a financing plan, 1 0r 2 diferrent bond sales.”

Bates – “How will you pay it back?”

Blanchard – “Normal revenue, this will help customers help us to reduce PWC’s power bill.  This system will help PWC & customers save money.”

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Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".