Claremore To Upgrade Utility Meters To Smart Meters

Monday, December 23rd 2013, 11:06 pm
By: News On 6

New technology is making its way to Claremore. The city council voted Monday night to upgrade its utility meters to smart meters.

The city says these meters will allow you to manage electricity and water use. The meters could have also made a tremendous difference in this weekend's ice storm.

Utility workers in Claremore have been working overtime to restore power after last weekend's ice storm.

"There're a lot of meters in our system that are really, really old," said Larry Hughes, Claremore Electric Department Director.

That's why Larry Hughes says installing new smart meters is a necessity.

"It's going to give us better detection on outages and let us know who's on, who's off, which obviously this last weekend with the ice storm that would have come in extremely handy," Hughes said.

The city council voted on a 10-year contract with General Electric. Next fall, the company will begin installing the smart meters.

They'll not only help with managing outages, but will also give customers a more hands on experience.

"The customers are going to be able to get on and see their usage, and really, when they're using it to some degree, start figuring out how they're using it, and help manage their energy bills better," Hughes said.

The city currently has older meters. They don't have digital screens and workers have to physically go to read each meter. The new ones will also monitor water usage.

"We'll also be able to have some remote capabilities of turning on, turning off customers moving out, moving in, also delinquent accounts," Hughes said.

Hughes has spent the past year working with City Manager Jim Thomas to iron out the details of the contract.

"Our 19,000 customers, both water and electric, will get the same technology that OG & E is providing to 800,000 customers in the Oklahoma City area," said Jim Thomas, Claremore City Manager.

Hughes says there is a chance some customers' bills will go up. He says that is because the current meters sometimes don't give accurate usage readings and the new meters will.