ST. LOUIS, MO, Mar. 25, 2009 -- The City of Ann Arbor, MI, a long-term municipal customer of intelligent infrastructure brand Aclara, has won a Ten Years of Excellence award from Metering International for its use of the STAR® Network system for billing, high/low consumption reporting, and non-revenue water loss detection. The city will receive its award at the upcoming Metering, Billing/CIS America 2008 being held in Miami, FL, March 22 to 25.
The Ten Years of Excellence awards recognize industry leaders who, between 2000 and 2009, made outstanding contributions to the utilities-metering sector in North America with programs, projects, and services. The award won by Ann Arbor, a city of approximately 114,000 residents, honors the most innovative implementation of advanced metering technologies by a water utility in North America.
"Ann Arbor has clearly demonstrated how small municipal utilities can successfully deploy advanced metering infrastructure to capture the data necessary for extraordinary customer-service applications -- usage profiling and tracking, online access to daily consumption information, and unique billing options," said Sue F. McCormick, public service administrator for the City of Ann Arbor.
As home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor has a large number of transient students. As a result, the people responsible for charges to various water meters change often. Having daily reads allows the city to switch meters over to new occupants without physically disconnecting and then reconnecting the meter, saving time and money. Ann Arbor deploys C700 positive displacement meters and AquaMaster electronic cold-water meters from Elster.
Data from the STAR Network system also supports the City's cost-of-service, tiered-rate structures for commercial and residential customers. The rate structures are designed to reduce peak usage, which is now well below 80% capacity at peak loads. The City also uses the information it collects on peak usage to assign the costs of building water infrastructure more equitably to those putting more peak demand on the system.
A web-based software program developed by Ann Arbor allows the City to more effectively communicate with residents and allows customers to monitor usage 24/7. Residents who use the service can now see the relationship between events such as lawn watering and their bills. The online system also provides customer-service representatives with the information they need to review accounts and answer consumers' questions.
The Aclara brand represents the industry's leading Intelligent Infrastructure™ technologies for providing device networking, data-value management, and customer communications to water, gas, and electric utilities globally.