Products chosen to increase customer service & boost operational efficiency
The Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities (DPU) selected MeterSense and CustomerConnect—the meter data management (MDM) and customer engagement solutions of Harris Utilities SmartWorks—to help the utility make stronger analytical decisions and improve customer service.
Located in South Carolina, the municipal-owned utility provides electricity, gas, water and wastewater services to nearly 75,000 customers in Orangeburg County. Utility managers decided they could advance their operational efficiency and enhance their customer service by making new smart grid investments. They chose Harris Utilities SmartWorks solutions to anchor the technology not only because of the applications’ ease of use, configurability and integration with existing enterprise technologies, but also because the products exceeded the utility’s expressed requirements for analytics functions, automation capabilities and enhanced customer involvement.
Once fully implemented across all 63,000 Orangeburg DPU meters, MeterSense in particular will help the utility promote service reliability by identifying peak load times and initiating outage responses, eliminate losses across its electricity, gas and water networks, automate meter reads, disconnects and service orders, introduce current-limiting programs for priority customers, upgrade infrastructure using the most complete data possible, and implement a future pre-paid solution..
“We decided to implement MeterSense before selecting a partner to provide our advanced metering infrastructure,” said John Bagwell, Director, Electric Division at Orangeburg DPU. “We see the MDM as being the brains of our whole implementation. We felt it was important to have MeterSense in place before we begin collecting data from our new advanced meters so that we can take advantage of smart grid data the moment it starts coming in.”
In addition to the benefits it hopes to take from MeterSense, Orangeburg DPU plans to use CustomerConnect to transform the way it interacts with its customers.
“CustomerConnect gives our customers instant access to their energy usage data and basic analytics calculations,” said Bagwell. “That was important for us. We expect to use the solution to reach out to customers in new ways, to educate them about ways to control their consumption costs and to get them involved in new conservation programs.”