LP&L moving forward to install 'smart meters' in 2019

LP&L moving forward to install 'smart meters' in 2019

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council and LP&L are moving forward on converting electric meters across the city to "smart" meters.

The meters are being paid for out of the city's infrastructure improvement program that started in 2014.

LP&L says the new meters will help increase efficiency, billing and reduce the risk of system overloads.

Installation of the new meters is set to begin early 2019.

LP&L released this statement on Thursday night:

Provided by LP&L

The Lubbock City Council and Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) Electric Utility Board approved the implementation of advanced meters for LP&L electric customers in Lubbock.

Today's City Council vote follows action taken by the Electric Utility Board on May 29, 2018, approving a contract with Itron, an industry leader in advanced metering for utilities and cities.

"LP&L is committed to upgrading our system and investing in modern technology," said LP&L Electric Utility Board Chairman Greg Taylor.  "The metering technology currently employed by LP&L passed its relevant life decades ago. With the implementation of advanced meters, LP&L will be joining the vast majority of our fellow Texas utilities in providing our customers more information and control over their energy usage."

LP&L staff, along with expert consultants and representation from all areas of the City, worked diligently over the past 18 months to closely research advanced metering technology and carefully vet proposals submitted as part of a request for proposals issued June 2017.

By upgrading LP&L's system with advanced meters, the utility will be able to better serve its customers by:

Improving Billing Accuracy
Eliminates manual meter reading
Reduces billing errors

Improving Customer Service
Increases efficiency in addressing customer inquiries
Decreases time required to start or transfer service for new and current customers
Increases customer support capabilities and expands customer service options

Empowering Customers
Provides accurate, near real-time data so customers can track and better manage their electricity use
After installation, customer service will be able to provide an in-depth look into customers' usage patterns
In the future, customers will be able to log on to an interactive portal where they can access the same data at any time (currently scheduled to launch in 2020)

Improving Outage Management
Automatically alerts LP&L to outages, even before a customer reports them
Automatically identifies the location of the outage
Reduces time required to restore power to all affected customers

Enhancing Reliability
Allows LP&L to conduct load analysis to help ensure transformers do not get overloaded
Allows LP&L to accurately and efficiently forecast Lubbock's current and future energy needs
Provides new data to help determine when and where LP&L should make investments in the system to meet Lubbock's growing energy demand

In 2014, LP&L began an infrastructure improvement program to make investments in reliability and capacity of its transmission, production and customer information systems to ensure a stable energy future for its customers and the growing Lubbock community. The improvements are fully funded through rate adjustments from 2014-2017.  The implementation of advanced meters is a small, but integral part of this larger infrastructure improvement program.

As the municipal provider of electricity for the City of Lubbock, LP&L strives to provide its customers with the same advantages of modern metering technology currently enjoyed by Texans all over the state, including members of our neighboring electric provider South Plains Electric Cooperative. Some of the Texas cities that have already implemented advanced meters include Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, Bryan, Georgetown, Kerrville, Seguin and Fredericksburg.

LP&L plans to begin the full installation of advanced meters in early 2019, following extensive field testing of the metering technology. The full installation process is expected to last approximately one year. LP&L encourages any customer interested in this project to read more on its website at LPandL.com/advanced-meters and to follow the utility on social media.