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Inside Bulloch Business with Jan Moore - Georgia Power changing to 'smart' meters
Jan Moore
Jan Moore

      One afternoon last week, I came tootling down my street, only to see a service type truck in my driveway. I hadn't requested any help, so I was beyond curious, whipped into my driveway, and addressed the pleasant looking man in the truck with a pointed question - "Is there something that I can do for you?"
      He replied more pleasantly, "No, ma'am. I just replaced your old electric meter with a smart meter. Georgia Power is having them all replaced. Take care. "
      The company that Georgia Power has contracted for this task - at least here - is Metadigm Services based in Atlanta. I know you have seen their trucks, because they are everywhere. If you don't believe me, drive by the old Winn Dixie parking lot on Gentilly Road at about 7:30 a.m., and you will see dozens of their service trucks loading up for a day of meter replacement.
      My curiosity got the best of me, and I called Georgia Power. Here is the skinny on this operation which is referred to in the industry as smart meter deployment for an advanced metering infrastructure.
      According to Knonswello Monroe, a spokesperson for the company in Atlanta, the installations in Statesboro began September 26 and will be complete by October 28. Claxton, Metter, and Swainsboro are on the same schedule as Statesboro. They are replacing 19,042 in Statesboro, 3,902 in Metter, 4,283 in Claxton, and 5,197 in Swainsboro.
      How many meters will Georgia Power have to replace overall? Georgia Power's entire coastal region which includes Statesboro as well as Savannah has approximately 286,000 customers. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's counties.
      What is a smart meter? In a nutshell, Georgia Power will be able to read the meter remotely without having to send a person to physically check it. This is good for Georgia Power for obvious reasons, but also significantly reduces the number of vehicles that they must put on the road. Also, it lets the company know immediately where there are outages without having to wait for someone to report them.
      Now, I asked Monroe what was in it for me? Actually, nothing right now, but at some point in the not-so-distant future, these meters will allow us, the consumer, to track our usage online. That, I like very much.
      As with other jobs that technology has replaced, it looks as if "meter reading" is on its way out.

      So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
      Got a scoop for Jan? Call (912) 489-9463; email jmoore@statesboroherald.com

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