Prepayment metering in the US

04-Apr-2014 10:11:00

Salt-River-Project1The requirement to reduce a customer’s business and deployment costs coupled with a long-term relationship as a trusted business partner and the expertise of Landis+Gyr organizations on two continents: these were the factors that resulted in a 10-year, 132€ million deal pioneering an advanced smart prepayment metering solution in the United States.

Salt River Project (SRP), a leading American utility company, has signed a long-term agreement with Landis+Gyr to update and expand its advanced metering and prepayment technology in a phased, 10-year installation across their service territory. SRP’s original objective was to eliminate the cost of rolling trucks when customers switch to prepayment or when customers leave — a cost of several million dollars a year.

SRP’s M-Power program is the largest electric prepayment program in the United States and has been in operation since 1993.  “Our M-Power program has been very successful and we will now have the tools to expand prepayment options to our entire customer base in coming years,” said Michael Mendonca, Senior Director of Revenue Cycle Services at SRP. “This agreement with Landis+Gyr will provide SRP with the technology to deliver our customers convenient access to a broader range of information and support more payment choices than our existing solution. It will be a significant step forward for us.”

A three phase project

SRP has been profiting from Landis+Gyr UK’s expertise in prepayment metering and solutions for a number of years. “The UK is one of the largest prepayment markets in the world.  We are the market leader and have a wealth of experience to share with our customers both in EMEA and in other regions,” says Paul Curtis, Head of Export Sales, Landis+Gyr EMEA.

The project will be carried out in three phases.  In the first phase the focus is on installing the Gridstream® RF Communication Infrastructure throughout the SRP territory. The second phase is the upgrade of SRP’s current Landis+Gyr UK prepayment solution to use the Gridstream communication infrastructure. Once the network foundation is established and the current prepayment hardware and software is modified, SRP in a non-interference and transparent manner, will provide their 142,000 prepaid customers with meters that provide both credit and prepayment options and be remotely configured. 

The third phase will see the development of the next generation prepayment system based on the Focus AX-SD meter and a new In Home Display using Zigbee technology. When the network is up and running, SRP will begin installing more than one million, state of the art, Landis+Gyr E350 AX-SD meters to provide both credit and prepayment options for all their customers. When the project is completed, SRP’s entire residential community — in excess of 1 million endpoints — will have the next generation of advanced Smart Metering Solution. The solution utilizes the latest technology in metering and communications, fulfilling all of SRP’s current requirements, and with the flexibility to address future Smart Grid initiatives.

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