Stowe Electric chooses MeterSense and CustomerConnect to interpret and act on grid data

Date
04/15/2013

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Stowe Electric Department has chosen MeterSense and CustomerConnect, Harris Utilities' meter data management (MDM) solution and customer engagement solution (CES), to gather and analyze meter data and present consumption information to consumers. MeterSense is an advanced MDM solution that transforms raw smart meter data into valuable business intelligence and enables utilities to improve business processes and enhance customer service. CustomerConnect is a web-based data presentment tool that enables customers to access and interpret their consumption patterns, which helps them make smarter choices about resource use, reduce their bills and support utility conservation goals. MeterSense helps Stowe Electric be more efficient Stowe Electric distributes electricity to some 4,000 residential and commercial consumers in Northern Vermont. The utility began to consider installing smart grid infrastructure in 2010 with the aim of automating its meter-read processes, realizing some operational efficiencies and giving consumers more control over their energy use and utility bill costs. A Smart Grid Investment Grant issued to the utility by the Department of Energy helped Stowe Electric fund its advanced metering project. The utility began deploying smart meters in October 2012 and concluded in January 2013. Stowe Electric supplemented its advanced metering infrastructure with MeterSense, and the MDM solution went live on the utility's systems at the outset of meter deployment. The utility was eager to reap the benefits MeterSense provided, specifically: validation, estimation and editing routines for billing, and detailed analytics to help its customer-service team address consumers' questions. "MeterSense gives us two-way communication with our smart meters and enables us to derive greater intelligence from the grid data we collect," said Patrick Householder, Controller with Stowe Electric Department. "We use MeterSense not only to collect and interpret grid data, but also to understand how our grid is performing and to better serve our customers." Already, MeterSense has yielded significant benefits. By automating meter reads, the solution has enabled Stowe Electric to eliminate two meter-reader positions. Moreover, by putting customer service agents in touch with consumers' meter data almost instantly, MeterSense helps Stowe Electric personnel resolve high-bill complaints in seconds, rather than hours or even days. In the state of Vermont, utilities that introduce smart metering projects are encouraged to supplement such technology with consumer engagement software. Stowe Electric was therefore eager to find a solution that was easy to use, that integrated seamlessly with its enterprise technology, and that gave end users a direct connection to their consumption and bill data. CustomerConnect was that solution. "It made sense to go with CustomerConnect because of its assured integration with MeterSense," said Householder. "We also liked the fact that the solution provides detailed billing and usage information while being intuitive for our customers." When CustomerConnect goes live at Stowe Electric this spring, the utility will use the solution to provide detailed usage and cost data to consumers. "Regardless of number of meters or size of service areas, MeterSense and CustomerConnect can deliver significant value to utilities," said Norm Daigle, Executive Vice President of Harris Utilities SmartWorks, the smart grid innovation engine of Harris Utilities that created MeterSense and CustomerConnect. "Both solutions offer the potential for significant operational efficiencies and help utilities extract maximum value from their smart grid implementations." As a result of implementing MeterSense, Stowe Electric Department can now collect and use its smart meter data more effectively than ever before. Through CustomerConnect, the utility presents such information to consumers to help them make informed decisions about controlling costs and saving energy. Stowe Electric Harris Utilities

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