CLEVELAND, Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's Palatka Gas Authority is implementing the STAR Network advanced metering infrastructure to automatically read the 3,500 commercial and residential natural gas meters that PGA serves. Aclara is a leader in Intelligent Infrastructure solutions and part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE).
Palatka Gas Authority chose the radio-frequency-based fixed-network to improve service as well as reduce costs. In addition, the new system will allow more frequent and flexible meter reading. Today, gas meters are read according to a monthly schedule, and bills are sent out on a schedule based on when the meter is read.
"Not only will we be able to take a vehicle off the road, but we'll have more flexibility in the meter-reading and billing cycle," says Don Kitner, general manager of the Palatka Gas Authority. "We have many residents who are on fixed incomes, and this will allow us to bill for gas usage on whatever schedule is most convenient for them."
In addition to providing flexibility, Kitner believes that the AMI system will be more accurate and will allow the gas authority to better understand what is happening in its system. For example, the utility will immediately see any unusual spikes in usage that might indicate a problem in the gas-distribution network. The Palatka Gas Authority also will be able to identify potential theft by monitoring services that are not active.
Aclara® represents the industry's leading intelligent infrastructure technologies for providing device networking, data-value management, and customer communications to water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Over 500 utilities in nine countries rely on proven Aclara solutions to connect with their customers. Aclara Technologies LLC is part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE), St. Louis. Create Your Intelligent Infrastructure™ www.Aclara.com.