City talks benefits of advanced electric metering in special utility board meeting

City talks benefits of advanced electric metering in special utility board meeting
Lubbock Power & Light building (Source: KCBD Photo)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock City council held a special utility board meeting Tuesday afternoon, and while a number of items were discussed, one that affects citizens most directly is the implementation of the City’s new advanced metering infrastructure.

In 2014, Lubbock Power & Light began an infrastructure program totaling approximately $530 million to make investments in transmission, production and information systems, funded by rate adjustments in 2014 through 2017.

The plan includes power line and substation construction to improve the current transmission grid as Lubbock expands and to help facilitate the transition to the ERCOT grid. The plan also includes improvements to the information systems by investing in modern customer billing and installing an infrastructure of advanced meters.

According to LP&L, these advanced “smart meters” will allow for more accurate and timely information on electricity usage as opposed to the manual meter reading process that’s slower and leaves the potential for human error. An initial deployment of about 500 meters was initiated last fall, with no negative feedback from the trial run.

The smart meters will allow customers to monitor their own electricity use in near real time though a secured web portal that will receive assessments and readings several times a day from the advanced meters, allowing customers the ability to take proactive measures in avoiding high electric bills, especially in extreme temperature periods of the year when spikes are traditionally seen. The web portal feature and new billing system to be implemented by City of Lubbock utilities is expected to launch in 2020.

Installment of approximately 105,000 advanced electric meters and 87,000 advanced water meters will begin within a month and take about 12 months to complete. The installation will take place by subcontractor through Compass Metering Solutions, they will not ask any customers for payment or need to enter the home. All authorized workers will carry photo identification badges with logos for the City of Lubbock and Compass Metering Solutions.

Customers will have the ability to opt out of the new smart meter, but will be required to pay a monthly fee of $25.

For more information on the City of Lubbock utilities, visit: cityoflubbockutilities.com

For information and Frequently Asked Questions on LP&L’s advanced meters, visit the section of their website at: lpandl.com/energy-services/advanced-meters/

If you have questions about someone at your door claiming to be a City of Lubbock employee or subcontractor, you can call: 775-2509 and talk to a City of Lubbock utilities customer service representative and confirm their identity to avoid scammers.

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