Enhancing The Smart Grid
Already the country’s most automated, EPB’s Smart Grid got even smarter this year, as EPB crews added 200 smart switches to our 46 kV system, on top of the 1200 smart switches installed on our 12 kV system.
Exceeding our own estimate of a 40% reduction in outage duration, we delivered a 60% reduction—eliminating 45 million customer outage-minutes over the past 12 months. According to a UC Berkeley study, power outages cost communities across the country $80 billion annually. Chattanooga’s share of that cost is $100 million per year, meaning this reduction may have saved our customers and community $60 million in 2013.
Providing More Relevant Data
Most energy providers only provide usage information that’s 30 days old. But EPB’s Smart Grid makes it possible for customers to view 15-minute increments of usage, in near real-time. Giving our customers a more complete, timelier view of their usage and billing is just one way the Smart Grid is helping our customers make smarter decisions about their energy use.
Guarding The Bottom Line, and the Environment
In the past year, EPB and its customers weren’t the only ones who saw benefit in the Smart Grid. Standard & Poor’s upgraded EPB’s bond rating to AA+, citing Smart Grid as one rationale.
And the Smart Grid is about much more than dollars and cents. In the past year, the system has saved our employees and trucks more than 260,000 miles of travel and 11,500 gallons of fuel. Plus, the intelligence that comes with the 6 billion data points collected per year from the Smart Grid’s field sensors will help EPB employees continue to make adjustments and improvements to benefit everyone.