San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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April 7th, 2009
‘Smart meter’ installation begins in San Marcos

SUBMITTED REPORT

The city of San Marcos began installation this week of its “smart” water and electric meters in neighborhoods across town.

The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project will install meters that can be read remotely and will offer customers online information about their water and electricity use. The installation process citywide of nearly 30,000 meters will take up to 18 months to complete.

“The deployment of the ‘smart meters’ begins an important stage of the AMI project that the city’s Electric, Water/ Wastewater, and Technology Services Departments have been preparing for over the last several years,” said Tom Taggart, the Public Services department director. “We are excited about bringing new technology to our utilities that will benefit our customers and improve utility operations as well.”

The city has hired Texas Meter & Device Company to install electric meters, while city of San Marcos crews will install water meters.

Apartment complexes will be the first to receive electric meters. About 3,500 electric meters will be installed during April at major complexes across San Marcos. Customers will have brief interruptions in service, with electricity off about one minute and water averaging 10 minutes while meters are replaced.

Customers with special needs due to medical conditions or businesses that want to schedule installations may call (512) 393-8313. Electric customers will have to reset electronic devices such as clocks and alarms.

Electric installations scheduled in April include:

  • April 6-10: Coers Dr, Owens St, Sarah St, Highcrest, The Oaks, Hill Country, Village at Springtown, The Summit, and The Edge.
  • April 13-17: Exchange II, Townwood, Kelsea Place, Autumn Chase, Colony Square, and Riverview.
  • April 20-24: Cedars, Graystone, Parkhill, Palazzo, Garden Court, Stonebrook, Asbury Place, Hunter and Stagecoach, Savannah Club, Corporate Drive, Dutton Drive and Wonder World Drive.
  • April 27-May 1: Academy, Alamo, Yale, Orchard, Canyon Rd, Canyon Fork, West Sessom, Bishop Square, Metropolitan, Treehouse, Stonegate, and Les Chateaux.

Water installations for the month will include:

  • April 8-15: Blanco River Village, Airport, Hwy 21, and Blanco Vista Homes.
  • April 16-25: Anderson Acres, Horace Howard, Old Bastrop Road, Coffee Road, Ford Road, 4000s Hunter Road, Posey Road and Walker Road
  • April 27-May 5: Kingswood, Sleepy Hollow, and Quail Run.

The AMI project will improve customers’ online access to their accounts, providing hourly readings and letting customers monitor their own use during the month. The new meters will increase privacy with remote meter readings, improve accuracy, and help identify power outages and water main breaks more quickly.

For more information about the AMI project, call the Electric Utility at (512) 393-8300.

— FROM THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS/MELISSA MILLECAM

PHOTO: Carlos Villasana, Equipment Operator with the city’s Water Utility replaces an old water meter with a new “smart” meter. SUBMITTED PHOTO.

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