Preparing for the Smart Grid

Smart grid technologies offer many benefits to both utilities and customers. These technologies can also help utilities reduce risk, increase security and protect revenue in the rapidly changing electric industry.

Is it time to strategically examine which technologies your utility will need to succeed in the coming years?

Click here to download the MRES Member Technology Roadmap brochure.

Coordinated Demand Response (CDR) Program

Reducing peak demand, especially on hot summer days, helps MRES and its members save money and delay the need for infrastructure improvements. MRES offers a hosted CDR program that helps members cost-effectively install and operate direct load control of central air conditioners and electric water heaters. MRES hosts the headend CDR software and provides the communications system, along with operational and IT support, and has negotiated discounts on the hardware. Customized marketing materials are branded Get the Load Down℠ and available for member use.

MRES assists with:

  • Development of control strategies
  • Load monitoring
  • Automated operation of system
  • IT and communications support
  • Facilitation of deployment

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Program

AMI enables two-way communications between the utility and the customer meter or other devices, which allows the utility to monitor the status of its distribution system in near real-time. AMI provides the backbone for many Smart Grid technologies that can enhance system performance and efficiency. It can also provide customers with tools to better manage their electrical usage and costs, and can enable technology options, such as solar generation and electric vehicles. MRES hosts the headend AMI software and provides the communications system, along with operational and IT support, and has negotiated discounts on the hardware.

MRES assists with:

  • Development of control strategies
  • Load monitoring

AMI utility benefits:

  • Greater meter reading accuracy and efficiency
  • Remote connect/disconnect
  • On-demand meter readings and billing flexibility
  • Enables time-based rate options
  • Identifies leaks, high usage, tampering and theft
  • Power quality monitoring and alerts
  • Self-healing system for greater reliability and resiliency
  • Reduced operation and management costs

AMI customer benefits:

  • Faster answers to billing questions
  • Meter reading accuracy
  • Service options such as billing date, rate options and online payments (if enabled by utility)
  • Faster notification of leaks or high usage
  • Better power quality — fewer sags, spikes and interruptions

The hosted CDR and AMI programs both use the same RF Mesh wireless communications network for additional savings.

AMI Turnkey Installation

MRES has contracted with two regional meter installation contractors to enable the turnkey installation of AMI without using local crews. Turnkey installations allow members to deploy and realize the benefits of AMI quickly. Under the program, MRES works with the member, the chosen contractor and member vendors with project oversight and training.

The member purchases the hardware and works with the chosen contractor to determine the best deployment strategy for their community. Installations can include electric meters, water meters and/or water nodes, and gas meter nodes. The service is available to members in conjunction with the installation of MRES-hosted AMI systems only.

One of our regional installation contractors also deploys CDR without using local crews to install load control receivers. The member purchases the hardware and works with the contractor to deploy and realize the benefits of CDR quickly. This service is only available to members in conjunction with the installation of the MRES-hosted CDR program.

Meter Data Management (MDM)

MDM works hand in hand with AMI to validate, verify, estimate and edit meter readings. It also provides secure data storage and makes that data available to other applications.

MDM benefits:

  • Validates, verifies, estimates and edits meter readings
  • Provides secure data storage
  • Makes data available to other applications
  • Enables analytics and reports from AMI and system data
  • Provides web portal to manage operations

Residential and Business Portals

These portals provide online and mobile access to utility services, including usage and billing history, comparisons, trends, averages, etc. The portal provides a communications platform between the utility and its customers and can be set up to provide proactive alerts, notifications and other communications directly from the utility. Whether it's for business or residential use, the portal includes a toolkit to manage electric use and costs to improve efficiency.

Residential and business online portals:

  • Online, mobile access to utility services
  • Access to usage and billing history, comparisons, trends and averages
  • Proactive alerts, notifications and communications from utility
  • Tools to manage electric use and costs
  • Provides communications platform between utility and customers

Healthmap benefits:

  • View map of entire distribution network
  • Detect network events, such as outages, and receive alerts
  • Determine likely cause of events, along with location, and communicate resolution to stakeholders
  • Monitor load and voltage at feeders, transformers and service points
  • Automatically record load and voltage history on a graph
  • Manage transformer overload or underloads, under/over voltage, and network losses

Customer Information/Billing System (CIS)

MRES has partnered with Tyler Technologies to offer Tyler’s Incode® software as the preferred enterprise resource planning software to MRES member utilities. This partnership enables MRES to offer Incode at a preferred price with beneficial implementation terms to its members.

If selected by an MRES member, the member utility or city will work directly with Tyler Technologies to implement Incode. MRES members also have the option to add on additional software options from Tyler Technologies. With these offerings, members will have access to Tyler Technologies’ full suite of customer information and utility billing solutions that aim to accomplish the following goals:

  • Click here to view the MRES members-only Customer Information/Billing System site provided by Tyler Technologies

Contact Us Today!

For more information on any of the services above or to obtain a cost quotation for your community, please contact us using the form below.

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