Baton Rouge, LA (PRWEB) May 01, 2015
The City of Orangeburg’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) received the “Best Smart Infrastructure Project” of the Year at CS Week 2015. The awards were announced and distributed during the general session for CS Week on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The “Best Smart Infrastructure Project” is one of four Expanding Excellence Awards. The program is “designed to recognize and salute excellence in customer service,” according to the CS Week website.
DPU deployed an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution using the Sensus FlexNet product and a Meter Data Management System (MDMS) by Harris’ MeterSense. DPU also integrated a DataVoice International Outage Management System (OMS). By including the OMS integration, DPU has been able to immediately identify outages, and thus speed up the restoration process. The new system has also enabled DPU to be more proactive in communicating potential water leaks, outages and other pertinent service information to their customers. The introduction of a customer service portal has allowed DPU to provide customers with information to better manage their consumption and become more efficient end users.
Dale Pennington, UtiliWorks’ Managing Director says, “UtiliWorks was pleased to work with Orangeburg to design a smart grid system that maximized the benefits to the utility and the community they serve. The system provides for significant operational improvements, while at the same time creating a new customer engagement model. The system was designed to fully utilize all of the technology benefits inherent in the smart grid systems offered today.”
UtiliWorks has provided overall program oversight since the inception of DPU’s AMI/ MDM deployment. UtiliWorks first conducted an assessment, and assisted DPU in developing the following goals and objectives for the program:
- Empower customers to control their utility usage and better manage their bills
- Improve water, gas and electric distribution system reliability
- Increase DPU’s customer satisfaction
- Maintain affordable utility rates in the future
- Provide a process to measure, report, and reconcile daily production and consumption
Additionally, UtiliWorks assisted in procurement, business process re-engineering, and technical consulting.
With the additional information provided by the AMI system and capabilities available with the MDMS, DPU will continue to identify opportunities and develop programs to further enhance efficiencies and benefits to DPU customers and DPU business operations. DPU maintains a continuous improvement approach to their operations and training to ensure the DPU staff will take advantage of new capabilities.
“The City of Orangeburg’s Department of Public Utilities and the City Council of Orangeburg are overwhelmed with pride at the selection of our AMI project for this prestigious award. Like CS Week, our focus has been, and will continue to be, servicing the needs of our customers. This project will help us in providing the highest levels of customer service, while maintaining some of the lowest cost of utilities in the nation. We sincerely appreciate this recognition, and congratulate the additional winners on their achievements,” says Tracey Walters, Geographic Information Engineer and AMI Program Manager for Orangeburg DPU.
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has served the City of Orangeburg and surrounding community for over one hundred (100) years. Today DPU provides electric, water, gas, and waste water services to both its’ city and rural customers. The City of Orangeburg’s population was 13,964 as of the 2010 census. The greater Orangeburg population includes over 67,000 residents. Orangeburg, South Carolina is located 37 miles southeast of Columbia, on the north fork of the Edisto River in the Midlands area of South Carolina