OUC Wins National Award for Smart Grid Infrastructure

Jun 30, 2014

SAN ANTONIO, TX - OUC—The Reliable One was recently recognized by CS Week and Electric Light & Power magazine with a 2014 Expanding Excellence Award for Best Infrastructure in North America for its successful implementation of a comprehensive digital meter program. “[OUC] far exceeded the ingenuity, success and commitment we envisioned when this award was created,” CS Week CEO Rod Litke said.

OUC’s new program allows customers to make real-time payments from hundreds of new locations, provides the ability to remotely disconnect and reconnect service, gives OUC more information about its electric grid and paves the way to providing much more consumption information to the customer than ever before. “Our customers told us they want more detailed account information – not just about their bills, but also power and water consumption, and they want to be able to access it on their mobile device day or night,” OUC Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jerry Sullivan said. “We’re making their utility experience similar to what banks, credit card and cable companies offer.

Through the use of technology, OUC was able to engineer systems allowing information from nearly 375,000 meters to be securely transferred back to OUC. The network that was established is able to support real-time payments, as well as customer-facing initiatives, such as a new mobile-friendly, self-service website, an automated phone system and the addition of nearly 500 third-party payment locations.  These smart grid technologies also provide low cost and reliable electric and water service for OUC’s customers.  “Our goal was to be one of the first utilities in the nation to implement this technology, while reducing our operating costs and still maintaining our high reliability,” Vice President of Customer & Sustainable Services Byron Knibbs said

These systems allowed OUC to close its three walk-in service centers and reduce costs in September 2013. Those savings were passed on to OUC customers in the form of two rate-reductions saving a typical consumer more than $10 each month.

OUC was able to complete a total of ten technology projects in record time which established the necessary infrastructure to provide new products and services such as pre-paid metering. In the future, OUC customers can look forward to a customer dashboard which will provide detailed information about their electric and water use which will empower them to save on their utility bills. And a new program, which will allow pre-paid customer metering, is set to launch later this year. All of these innovative and informative programs were made possible by preparing the necessary infrastructure and why OUC—The Reliable One was recognized with this award.

About OUC

Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to nearly 230,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. Visit OUC.com to learn more about our commitment to reliability, affordability and sustainability.