Georgia Power installs final ‘smart’ meter

Published 7:53 am Friday, July 27, 2012

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Culminating a six-year initiative that began in January 2007 to enhance metering service to its 2.4 million customers, Georgia Power today installed its final digital (also known as “smart”) meter in south Georgia, according to a Georgia Power press release.

Digital meters are able to be read remotely without having to send out meter readers every month. This has allowed Georgia Power to reduce 14 million miles of travel throughout the state by taking nearly 300 vehicles off the road, greatly reducing vehicle emissions. Digital meters also have been instrumental in helping to detect meter tampering to deter electricity theft.

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Metadigm Services, which managed the deployment to replace customers’ mechanical meters with digital meters, began in north Georgia, working their way around the state to the final installation in Bainbridge. An average of 50-60 workers have installed more than 2,000 digital meters daily since the project began.

“This milestone reflects our ongoing commitment to provide world-class service to Georgia Power’s 2.4 million customers,” said Georgia Power President and CEO Paul Bowers. “With advanced metering technology, Georgia Power is notified instantly about customer outages, which helps expedite power restoration, improves maintenance and enables the company to respond more quickly to customer service requests, all while saving customers money.”

Future services will include “My Energy,” which will allow customers to view their energy usage online, as well as access demand-side management programs, power outage notification and innovative rate options.

In the state of Georgia, the 2.4 million meters installed by Georgia Power brings the total number of digital meters installed by gas, water and other electric companies to a total of 6 million. Nationally, just for electric companies, the total number of digital meters installed will surpass 65 million by 2015, according to the Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE).

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties.