Braintree Electric to Test System over HFC Network
Braintree Electric Light Department announced its intention to deliver services over a two-way hybrid/fiber coax (HFC) broadband network. The publicly owned electric utility in Braintree, Mass., will use Scientific-Atlanta`s MainGate energy information system to test its delivery of energy management and customer communication services.
The initial phase, lasting up to 12 months, will involve a trial of MainGate gateways at residential homes that are currently served by the two-way network. “The MainGate system supports our plans for the future-to keep the price of electricity as low as possible and enhance our relationship with customers by offering valuable new services,” said Walter McGrath, Braintree Electric`s general manager and the American Public Power Association`s incoming president.
“While automated meter reading and load management will be our initial focus, the MainGate system also supports a range of energy management and value-added services that allow us to eventually communicate with the customer inside the home,” said McGrath.
According to a spokesperson for Scientific-Atlanta, Braintree Electric is one of the first municipal electric companies to deploy two-way, HFC broadband. The utility decided to overbuild its infrastructure in order to be able to offer additional energy-related services in the future. These services may include time-of-use pricing, outage detection, tamper detection and automatic bill payment. The infrastructure will also benefit community-wide programs such as automatic fire detection.
The Braintree Electric Light Department supplies electric service to the township of Braintree, Mass., located 18 miles south of Boston. Founded in 1892, it is one of the oldest utilities in the country. It serves 14,000 customers and operates generation, transmission and distribution facilities.