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Smart meters offer convenience, savings

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - From two days down to two minutes - that's the estimated time the Guam Power Authority expects to save for several of its services through its smart meters and Smart Grid program.  In the midst of its first phase for the deployment of its smart grid meter program, the utility agency earlier this month launched its Smart Grid Master Control Center.

GPA customer service representative Jaime Pinaula told KUAM News, "The whole intention is to move forward toward the Smart Grid meter. What we want to do is we want to improve our services in more toward being more efficient and energy savings." He notes GPA's smart meters and its Master Control Center offer quicker service from hooking up or disconnecting your power, finding out discrepancies in your bill and even transferring accounts in a matter of minutes.

"With the Smart Grid project in place, what we're doing now is on an average, let's say for example and they want to come in and apply for service, what would normally take us on an average of approximately 24-48 hours from start to finish we now can do with the smart grid process the same process in two minutes," he said.

The first deployment of meters is focused on about 5,000 customers up north with about 3,000 of these meters already installed. GPA is still in the stage where the communication is being tested but hope the efficiencies can reap in savings, as well. "By deploying a smart meter, we're not only going to save money on vehicle maintenance, fuel, purchase of new vehicles, manpower or labor and whatever it takes to perform the simple duties we do on a day to day basis," he said.

It was earlier this month when a public hearing was held regarding customer concerns on the smart meters such as privacy and health issues. Additionally, GPA is coordinating with each village mayor to schedule village meetings, which will fall in line with the installation of the meters in your village. Meanwhile, this time next year GPA expects to launch its e-portal system, where customers can logon to their private account and see their consumption that could ultimately help them make smart energy choices. 

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