Claremore officials approved a 10-year agreement with GE Energy Management Services Monday to bring smart meters to the city’s electrical system.
If the new technology had been in place, the city could have responded more quickly to power outages due to last weekend’s ice story, said Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas.
Numerous residents lost electrical power over the weekend due to ice-covered branches downing lines. Customers had to call into Claremore Electric to report their outages.
Thomas, who was among those who called, said there were a stack of messages collected by the police from the calls. With the new system, Thomas said Claremore Electric workers would be able to monitor and see where the outages were.
“Real hard data can be obtained by this technology and we will know where to send our troops and assets,” Thomas said. “We believe it is in the best interest of the City of Claremore.”
Councilors unanimously approved the document, with Councilor Paula Watson absent due to illness.
GE Energy will install more than 19,000 smart meters. Thomas said the process could take six to seven months and the city will not begin paying for the system until it is fully operational.
City Attorney Matt Ballard said he was confident and comfortable with the agreement.
Thomas said GE Energy is currently installing a similar system in Skiatook.
“I am confident we are going to have a good 10 years with GE,” Thomas said.