Though situated along the historic Route 66, the City of Azusa, California, views its utility services with an eye toward the future. That’s why the City’s utility, Azusa Light & Water (ALW), is upgrading its infrastructure with the latest smart metering technology.
“Technology is advancing, and we want to make sure we’re taking advantage of the latest innovations to better serve our customers,” said ALW’s Assistant Director of Utilities – Customer Care & Solutions, Cary Kalscheuer.
For years, ALW has consistently delivered reliable electricity and low cost, safe drinking water to its customers. As part of its continued effort to improve essential services, the Utility Board recently approved a contract with Sensus, a Xylem brand, to upgrade ALW’s metering infrastructure with an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution.
ALW provides electric and water services to the City of Azusa, and water to portions of the surrounding cities of Glendora, Covina, West Covina and Irwindale.
The AMI project will include the replacement of about 23,000 water meters and about 16,000 electric meters. ALW will use Sensus iPERL® water meters and the FlexNet® communication network, an advanced, two-way system offering point-to-multipoint functionality and secure, reliable data transmission.
“The versatility of the FlexNet system was a big differentiator for us, as the network can read both water and electric meters across ALW’s broad service territory,” said Kalscheuer. “Additionally, the accuracy of the iPERL meters will help us to detect leaks and follow up with customers well before they get a high water bill.”
“We will also be able to monitor irrigation meters remotely for drought compliance, which is important because Southern California is experiencing the second driest year since 1905,” added Kalscheuer. “In fact, the potential for this project to help reduce water usage was one reason the Bureau of Reclamation awarded ALW a $1M grant, which will help lower project costs.”
Throughout the AMI vendor selection process, the ALW team was impressed with the level of service and expertise they’ve received from Sensus. “The Sensus team was great and extremely easy to work with,” said Kalscheuer. “Everyone was knowledgeable about the technology and the company stands behind its products. We’re excited about what the future holds as we continue with our deployment.”
The software applications that comprise the AMI solution will be fully managed offsite through Sensus Managed Services. This approach to project deployment reduces operational and maintenance costs and allows the utility to focus on using the applications to better serve customers.
ALW management expects substantial operational benefits and improvements in customer service once the project is completed. The benefits will include faster start or stop for utility service, faster electric and water meter readings and faster power restoration following unplanned outages. Customers will be able to view their energy or water usage online and, because the project will help control utility costs, customers will continue to enjoy low-cost utility services from Azusa Light & Water.
SOURCE: Sensus, a Xylem brand