Claremore Daily Progress

September 18, 2013

Council to vote on smart meters Oct. 7

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — The Claremore City Council will decide Oct. 7 if smart meters will be installed to monitor Claremore Electric customers’ water and power usage.

City Manager Jim Thomas presented information on the new meter system one more time to the council in preparation for the vote.

The system will lower city employee cost by about $170,000,  in addition to saving the city lost revenue from electric and water theft, according to Thomas.

“We will have improved meter reading efficiencies,” Thomas said.

The city currently has about 3,000 customers who self read meters and about 1,000 meters are “broken” or not automated, according to Thomas.

Those meters are labor intensive, Thomas said.

The broken or outdated equipment is one problem which could be resolved, if the council approves the contract.

Projections reflect a loss of $637,596 in electric revenues annually and approximately $1.3 million in water loss.

New meters will be installed for every customer, therefore increasing accuracy and efficiency of the system, according to Thomas.

The General Electric system will assist the electric department in recovering about 21 percent of the total water produced.

Additionally, city officials anticipate the system will assist in recovering about $154,000 in bad debt.

The system will assist officials with locating outages and lower the calls received by Claremore Police during power outages, according to Thomas.

The meters will help Claremore Electric provide a proactive approach to electrical grid repairs, because technicians will be able to pinpoint outages, according to city officials.

The overall benefit to the city includes improved data collection and meter reading efficiencies, reduction of electric/water theft and sustainability in resources, according to Thomas.

The system will enhance analysis and improve maintenance of the distribution system, Thomas said.

“I think it will allow for a better City of Claremore, today, tomorrow and well into the future,” Thomas said.