In Olive Branch, residents do not have a meter reader physically reading the meter at their homes.
They have access to information about their daily usage. When storms cause an outage, the local utility, Northcentral Electric Power Association, can actually pinpoint which customers are without service as opposed to just seeing line sections.
How? Automated metering, which nearly 24,000 Northcentral residential customers in eastern DeSoto County, western Marshall County, and small areas in Tate and Lafayette counties have had since 2008.
In fact, Northcentral is fully automated with more than 28,000 active automated meters. The meters store daily usage but they don’t transmit information until Northcentral requests it.
There was no opt-out provision.
“We didn’t see the need. We actually had no complaints,” said Kevin Doddridge, Northcentral’s general manager.
After five years of automated metering, Doddridge added: “We’ve been pleased so far.”
To learn more about MLGW’s smart meter project, www.mlgw.com/smartgrid.