City of Medicine Hat, Alberta Selects Sensus for Automated Utility Metering

Sensus has recently been selected by the City of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, to automate metering for all three of the municipality’s utility services.

The City of Medicine Hat is currently commissioning the Sensus FlexNet system for a trial phase with residential and commercial accounts. The Industry Canada-licensed, full two-way FlexNet system includes seven collector base stations networked with Sensus iCon electric and iPERL water meters, as well as Sensus SmartPoint gas transceivers. Pending the city council approval, CMH would move forward with the project’s second phase of replacing legacy analog equipment with automated meters at each of the 30,000 customer accounts covering an area of 43 square-miles (111 km2) in the southeastern part of the province.

Medicine Hat, which sits on large deposits of natural gas, is rare among North American municipalities in that the city owns and operates all power generating and transmission and distribution assets. The city’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project manager, Dean Stepanic, said the project represents the first implementation in Canada of electric, water and gas measurement, monitoring and control over a single network. He added that the choice of implementing Sensus technology was driven by an effort to manage costs and provide better service to the city’s 61,000 residents.?

?Medicine Hat provides very competitive utility rates for customers but we needed to build a modern system for more efficient monitoring, accurate billing and greater conservation,? stated Stepanic. ?The FlexNet licensed spectrum allows us to automate meter reading and collect critical infrastructure data more securely than with a system based on public spectrum.?

Stepanic also said that the system’s point-to-multipoint topology requires less equipment than mesh networks and seamlessly interfaces with the city’s existing fiber optic network for backhaul. ?FlexNet will allow us to expand and introduce more services and capabilities such as distribution automation at some point in the future,? Stepanic said.

In addition to electric meter installations, advanced meters for water and gas is a growing trend as utilities replace on-premise meter reading and introduce more options for customers to monitor usage and billing. Advanced water and gas metering has the additional benefits of leak detection and public safety. Initially, CMH will perform automated billing and remote monitoring with the new system and may offer voluntary pricing options after full deployment.

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