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Vol. 67 Number 11


News orthwestern Electric September 2016


Opening doors to better energy management NWEC moves toward a smarter grid with recent investment


T


hese days, many people are looking for ways to lower their energy use and save money. Some are buying smaller cars that get better gas mileage. Others are cashing in on energy tax credits for weatherizing their homes. Still others are replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.


At NWEC, we encourage our members to conserve energy by of- fering energy saving tips and provid- ing tools such as our member portal and mobile app to help track daily energy use. Back in 2001, we took the first step in implementing smart grid technology by launching an automated meter reading program. The automated meters collect data our members can view to see how much energy they are using on a daily basis.


The data collected from the meters proved to be beneficial in helping solve high bill complaints and allow- ing our members to better manage their usage. The downside to us-


ing this type of system is the time it takes for the data to travel from the meter to our office. On average, it takes approximately 24-26 hours for the information to update. NWEC is moving toward a smarter grid by investing in and in- stalling new “smart” or “advanced” meters at each member location. The advanced meters represent the next generation of electric meters and replace outdated metering units. Instead of lagging a day behind in updated information, the data will be close to real-time.


Updating the grid will also pro- mote better power quality and enable us to be more efficient when responding to outages, conducting maintenance or planning for new equipment. (608900003) According to Jaret Dowler, direc- tor of purchasing & engineering services, “Advanced meters provide for better reliability and capabilities in the future. For example, the me- ters, in conjunction with automated equipment will give us the ability


Capital Credit Update


Last December, Western Farm- ers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) retired $811,036.50 in capital credits to NWEC for the years 1957 through 1975. On May 25, WFEC retired an additional $311,830.40 for all of 1976 and approximately 46% of 1977. The allocations to our members are recorded on


paper in our office and we are in the process of entering them into our computer system.


The task of entering the data manually is taking longer than we anticipated. We plan to refund the capital credits from WFEC, along with our general retirement, next April.


Advanced meters provide electric information


Inside


ERC loans......................2 Holiday closing.............2 Missing number............3 Free hot dogs................3 Kids camp .....................4


Data is securely transmitted across the electric grid back to the utility


Utility uses data to better manage distribution system and improve efficiency


to remotely identify the location of outages without members calling in, isolate the problem and re-route crews to speed restoration.” NWEC has contracted Sooner Meter out of Duncan, Okla., to install the new equipment. The conversion will begin in October and start with members served by the Woodward substation. The project is expected to be completed by next summer. We’ll provide updates on social media so you can see when we will be in your area.


Members can be assured the advanced meters are tested by manufacturers and they meet strin- gent national standards for safety, security, and privacy requirements. We’ve posted a “frequently asked questions” section on our website at www.nwecok.coop to help any answer any questions you may have. You can also give us a call at 580.256.7425 for more information.


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