Sioux Center Municipal Utilities is planning to upgrade the community’s utility meters and electric load control system.
This proposal includes updating utility customer’s meters with advanced meters designed to improve reliability for customers and efficiency in the way SCMU read meters each month. The updated electric load control system will help Sioux Center continue to reduce peak electric demand, saving the community money.
SCMU is moving toward this update after years of research and visits to other communities who use advanced meter systems.
“The advanced meter system not only refines the meter reading process, it also delivers more utility information to help us better serve our customers,” said Sioux Center Utility Engineer Matt Van Schouwen.
These systems allow for automatic, precise meter readings and a more coordinated meter reading and billing cycle. Advanced meters also can give more timely notice of a power outage or water leak at a property, so repairs can begin quickly.
Remote meter reading will provide more operational efficiency for SCMU. A meter reader will no longer have to visit each home for monthly readings or to activate/deactivate meter service.
In the future, energy providers may begin to charge more for electricity used during peak demand times and less for electricity during lower-demand times. Advanced meters will be important at that time so that customers who conserve energy during peak times will see that reflected in their bill.
Van Schouwen also noted that making this upgrade also creates greater flexibility for SCMU to offer enhanced services for customers in the future.