Ottawa, ON (MMD Newswire) September 11, 2012 -- Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority has selected MeterSense and CustomerConnect--Harris Utilities' meter data management (MDM) and customer engagement solutions--to complete the deployment of its smart-grid infrastructure.
As the largest water utility in New Mexico, the Water Authority serves a population of more than 634,000 people via approximately 203,000 water meters. With the support of UtiliWorks Consulting in a program-management capacity, the utility introduced Sensus FlexNet advanced metering infrastructure in 2010. The Water Authority will introduce the hardware over the next five years, and plans to implement MeterSense and CustomerConnect by the fourth quarter of 2012.
Because drought is a major consideration in the American southwest--particularly during summer months--the Water Authority is especially conscious of the need to encourage residents and businesses to conserve water. To that end, the utility has introduced a number of programs to educate citizens about water use and the importance of contributing to state-mandated conservation goals. Its efforts are working. In part as a result of the Water Authority's Water by the Numbers initiative--which recommends when and how often residents should water their properties--customers reduced their average daily consumption from 205 gallons per capita in 2001 to 150 by 2011.
The introduction of MeterSense and CustomerConnect will further the Water Authority's conservation efforts, said water conservation officer Katherine Yuhas.
"MeterSense will provide us with new tools to spot anomalies in water use throughout our service area," she said. "That means we can drive down unaccounted consumption--from system leaks, for example--and further support time-of-day watering restrictions."
Support for conservation programs is just one of the benefits the Water Authority will take from MeterSense. Behind the scenes, the MDM solution offers a number of business-process improvements. For example, prior to implementing its smart grid solution, the Water Authority read 94 percent of its water meters manually. By automating reads, MeterSense will help the utility not just save data collection costs, but also deliver more accurate bills to end users. What's more, MeterSense will furnish the utility's customer-service staff with exactly the data they need to serve customers better than before, and give utility administrators access to detailed analytics reports that will inform key planning decisions.
As MeterSense enhances the Water Authority's core business processes, CustomerConnect will engage end users more deeply in conservation programs. For example, the application will help the Water Authority teach customers about the need to conserve water, while giving users tools to understand and adjust their consumption habits to meet state-mandated goals.
"With CustomerConnect, we want to help our end users think long term," said Yuhas. "We want to highlight the importance of saving water today, but also stress the social, economic and environmental benefits of protecting our aquifer for future generations."
Norm Daigle, executive vice-president of MeterSense, said this implementation proves that any utility--water, gas or electricity--can realize significant benefits from robust, integrated smart grid solutions.
"The Water Authority clearly understands its role as a steward of the environment. Together, MeterSense and CustomerConnect are enabling the utility to build on great successes and protect a critical natural resource," he said. "It's a pleasure to support the Water Authority in its goals to promote water conservation in New Mexico."
Enabling business-process improvements, supporting conservation programs, and driving customer engagement are just some of the ways in which MeterSense and CustomerConnect enhance smart grid implementations at utilities such as the Water Authority.
About Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is a political subdivision of the State of New Mexico that administers the water and wastewater utility for all of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
Further information is available at www.abcwua.org.
MeterSense is a scalable, configurable and powerful meter data management (MDM) solution that quickly manages and intelligently interprets growing volumes of critical smart meter data. Designed on an open framework, MeterSense integrates with any customer information system (CIS) and provides customer-engagement and analytics tools to maximize smart grid investments, tying them into the utility with configurable, intelligent workflows.
For more information, visit www.metersense.com