COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A multi-million dollar investment to a local light and water company should save customers big money over the long haul. It could also give people a chance to conserve at peak usage times.
General Manager Todd Gale with the Columbus Light and Water says, “We’re currently testing about 500 water meters and 500 electric meters.”
Columbus Light and Water is doing a pilot program that’s testing automated meters for both electricity and water. The initial investment of $4 million should lead to a big pay off down the road.
The current meters can only give readings for up to 30 days at a time. The new state of the art automated meters will give customers both residential and commercial readings for up to the minute so they can track savings and usage.
TVA is the driving force behind the change. The massive power provider has started charging its power distributors at a “time of day” rate. Columbus Light and Water will soon do the same.
According to Gale, “These will allow us to tell our customers how they use there power or how they use their water and power them to conserve.”
A drastic change is coming in the way meters are read. Instead of wasting man hours and gasoline, the new meters can be monitored with a few keystrokes. Other selling points include : less waste and quicker response times when disaster strikes.
Gale says, “Outage management in storms and notify the customer if they see a water leak.”
If the pilot phase goes well, water meters will be implemented first in and should be fully operational with in 12 months with electric meters following in the next two to three years.
Columbus Light and Water says, they will concentrate on commercial businesses before switching out residential dwellings.