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Aclara Meter Data Management System Improves Customer Service at Pee Dee Electric Cooperative

WELLESLEY, Mass. Jan. 18, 2011 Darlington, South Carolina

Brian Kelley

The utility, a long-time user of Aclara’s TWACS AMI solution for meter reading, is also piloting the TWACS Prepayment Solution and the Aclara’s home area networking (HAN) technology. The MDMS will be the backbone for prepayment and the HAN offering, allowing people to view consumption data on in-home displays or via Web-enabled devices.

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The Validate, Estimate, and Edit (VEE) engine that powers the Aclara MDMS allows the utility to refine meter data so that it can be used in a wide range of customer-service applications. The ability of the MDMS to mathematically estimate and compare interval data from one time period to the next, for example, allows identification of discrepancies such as negative or excessively high reads. The utility can use the information to pinpoint problems with the operation of systems such as water heaters or heat pumps, potentially saving customers money.

Simplifying management of interval data associated with specific time periods also provides more flexibility and precision in setting a range of rates. For instance, the utility is piloting a commercial coincident peak (CP) demand rate versus the current non-coincident peak demand rate.  The MDMS-validated interval data gives Pee Dee the ability to offer the CP rate without having to change the meter. Rates based on coincident peaks will save certain commercial customers money, while also saving Pee Dee money.

The ability to manage interval data through the MDMS is also reducing costs by utilizing the validated interval data for residential TOU billing. This has allowed Pee Dee to get rid of special meters for customers on a TOU rate. These meters manage interval data to enforce TOU rates, but are costly and must be reprogrammed if rates change. "Eliminating TOU meters reduces service orders and the need to roll a truck to switch out meters or make programming changes," says Kelley. "With meter-data-management we can rely on standard residential meters and manage the TOU rates from the office."

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