Trustees OK patch for smart meters ahead of future install for new system
- Aug 2, 2022 4:07 pm GMT
Aug. 1—Duncan Public Utilities Authority trustees gave the green light with a 3-1 vote Tuesday to pay over
The first item in regards to the smart meters before the trustees came for a purchase of a remote meter-reading system upgrade from
"To make up for the many and varied shortcomings of the obsolete Elster System our departments are making do through the application of more labor; labor mostly coming from reducing system maintenance hours worked by field crews and sometimes via overtime work in all departments," Meek said. "Even with the extra effort and reduction in water and electric systems maintenance, still, the long slow descent into complete meter reading and customers utility consumption billing ineffectiveness continues. There is a solution available to replace the outdated system and to make the existing meters more useful until the water meters can be replaced."
In Duncan, smart meters rolled out in 2010 when Honeywell implemented the smart metering network in an effort to help the
In creating the network, Honeywell reportedly replaced existing meters with more than 9,000 electric meters and 12,000 water meters, which came from Elster Integrated Solutions. The project reportedly totaled
In 2013, more than a year after the project installation completed, The Banner also reported Honeywell replaced 8,000 water modules in
The topic resurfaced for discussion in 2019 when residents began experiencing high water bills and some instances of "uncharacteristic billing."
According to Meek, the
"Elster and now Honeywell continue to market the OS (operating system) to public and private utility customers throughout the
Meek said the installation of the new version of Connexo NetSense software, data migration from the old release to the new release, installation of the latest patches, installation / upgrade / configuration of applicable integration software, and custom configuration on a cloud service of the city's choosing comes at a "discounted price" of
Before the motion went to vote, trustees had several questions, which trustee
"We've been down the path with these folks before — and I'm not saying good, bad or indifferent — but, are we ok?" Fischer asked.
Meek responded by saying they were in the process of replacing all of these meters.
"Unfortunately, the only available to use is what is already in place, so Honeywell has these meters ... and they're the only ones that can do it," Meek said. "We have their system, we have to use them until we move to the new system."
She said, "this keeps our system running until we can get the new system in place."
"It'll take about a year to 18 months probably to install the entire system," Meek said. "Assuming we get back a bid that is what we borrowed and (we have) enough money."
Armstrong then asked Meek what strain the departments and citizens would face if the agenda item wasn't approved and Meek said more and more meters won't send in the data needed.
"What's happening is that we are having more and more meters that won't send data from the meter to the billing system, so we are actually having to send people out and read meters," Meek said. "We have more and more rereads or actual reads that we have to do, so it's more labor and it drives the labor cost up. You'll probably need to hire more people."
Armstrong then directed his attention to City Attorney
Hammond said they entered into negotiations with Honeywell about a year or two ago to get part of those problems resolved.
"On the software purchase, that will be under a new agreement, so we would have recourse on that if it doesn't work," Hammond said. "But my remembrance is we had them shave quite a bit of money off of what we owed previously ... It actually ended their maintenance contract so the new software and the remotes and everything we're ordering now, we'll have recourse in the contract if they don't work."
Peters then asked if the operative point was to use this to keep the city going short-term until the long-term plan of installing a new system is finished, to which Meek said yes.
Two other agenda items related to the meters then appeared before the trustees.
Before the first one went to vote, Fischer asked about longevity of the system, and Meek broke down how this patch will work.
"So this is the software piece that allows the two pieces to communicate, and those updates didn't get done because we ended that contract," Meek said. "So these new pieces will bring the data over and that makes everything talk to each other in the proper way. Then, in the next item, we're buying more meters so we can remotely disconnect meters and not require people to disconnect meters in somebody's backyard. And then the next one is an IT direct company that does handling of these systems, it's what they do, so that would put them in charge of all of that, and even when we do bring on the new system, they'll continue to handle that IT portion of it. It keeps your IT portion of it separate from your meter portion instead of having Honeywell doing all the things. So this is a patch to get us until we get a new system. It will last until we have a new system."
The motion passed with a 3-1 vote that saw Armstrong vote no and Trustee
The next item as Meek said came for the purchase of 2,500 radio read Elster meters from Honeywell for
"The meters are for new accounts, stock, non-radio read meter replacement and will be deployed by the staff in an expedited manner," Meek said. "The house meters are required with the remote disconnect feature at
The motion again passed 3-1 with Armstrong voting no.
The third item, as Meek said, was for the purchase of a remote meter-reading system hosting and electric system analytical service.
"At present, the existing Elster Meter Data Management OS is located on a
Meek said an invitation to bid went out to three approved bidders on
"The two responsive bidders used a five-year and a three-year term respectively," Meek said. "Staff used annualized cost to determine a comparable cost. AriesPro is the lowest bid on an annual cost to own and operate basis. Both companies proposed to host our OS in their respective clouds, have many public utility customers in the
Meek again clarified this service will carry over with the new system.
The board approved the item with a 4-0 vote.
—A pay request to
—A pay request to
—A pay request to
(c)2022 The Duncan Banner (Duncan, Okla.)
Visit The Duncan Banner (Duncan, Okla.) at www.duncanbanner.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.
Get Published - Build a Following
The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.
If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.