Claremore Daily Progress

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July 25, 2013

GE meter service could save city $1M in lost revenue

CLAREMORE —

The City of Claremore is considering a proposal from General Electric to install a smart meter system through Claremore Electric.
GE representatives presented the system benefits Monday to the   council.
The system has an estimated  monthly cost of  $80,000 and would include the replacement of water and electric meters for all customers.
As a benefit to the city, the expense of the system is projected to be less than the cost-savings, creating a revenue neutral item for the city.
Essentially, the $80,000 monthly fee would be paid as a result of an increase in electric revenues.
Currently, the city reports that Claremore Electric is losing revenue from meters that incorrectly record data.
For example, a sample of meters revealed that some customers are not paying for their entire monthly usage of electricity and/or water.
The cause for the loss of revenue is due to faulty meter devices, aged equipment or even theft in some cases, according to city officials.
The new system would accurately record all usage for both residential and business consumers, according to GE representatives.
This means the city will see an increase in revenue, offsetting the cost of the monthly fee to GE.
For customers, they could see an increase in their monthly bill if their meter is not working properly.
This translates into customers paying for actual usage, according to city officials.
The tests, conducted by the City of Claremore and evaluated by GE, revealed on average that customers are not paying for all the power or water they receive.
The total estimated savings for the city is anticipated to be about $1 million annually; however, this does not include the internal savings on operations.
The city could save an additional   $400,000 annually through a reduction in workforce, fuel expenses, vehicle maintenance and other operational costs.
These funds could be used to make repairs to infrastructure, according to Claremore City Manager Jim Thomas.

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