By Glenn Gavit, Assistant Director of Electric Utilities
In November, College Station Utilities’ contractor will begin installing advanced electric meters throughout its system to provide detailed usage and outage information for customers and the utility. Installing the new meters for our 42,000 customers will be done in phases and will take about a year to complete.
We’ll send postcards to residents as the scheduled installation approaches in their area. The contractor’s employees — easily identified by their blue shirts with a company logo — will do their best to let you know when they enter your property. The on-site work only takes a few minutes as they exchange the meters.
Use of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) has doubled since 2010, with more than half the nation’s electricity customer accounts using the upgraded meters. The advanced meters record energy usage just like traditional meters but send and receive the data through wireless communications technology.
AMI provides remote meter reading and reduces — and even eliminates — the need for electric personnel to regularly enter your property. Since many CSU meters are in backyards behind a fence, the change will enhance our customers’ and employees’ safety and security.
With so many people moving to College Station from around the country and world, AMI’s benefits have become an expectation. Many of our customers come from places where they have easy access to advanced metering data, such as detailed usage information. AMI allows customers to analyze their usage patterns, pinpoint the causes of high bills, and identify ways to save energy and trim their monthly electric costs.
The new AMI meters will help CSU generate more accurate bills by reducing human error, monitoring system performance, controlling energy theft, providing enhanced reliability, responding faster to outages, ensuring power is quickly restored. Some College Station residents are served by BTU and have had AMI for nearly a decade.
AMI also provides more efficient power connections and disconnections. During the peak student move-in and move-out times during Texas A&M and Blinn’s fall and spring semesters, CSU handles about 70,000 connect and disconnect requests.
Since the existing process involves physically connecting or disconnecting service, that simple service can take several days. CSU will soon be able to service those customers remotely, significantly improving our customer service capabilities. It will also provide substantial savings and reduce the city’s carbon footprint by reducing the miles our service trucks log.
For more information, go to cstx.gov/electricmeters or call 888-502-1845.
About the Blogger
Assistant Director of Electric Utility Glenn Gavit is in his second year with CSU. He previously worked as an engineer for Shermco Industries in Dallas, designing, installing, commissioning, and troubleshooting electrical systems across the nation, focusing on plants and major industrial environments. Originally from Corpus Christi, he earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from Texas Lutheran in 2007. Gavit received a third bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2016.
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