Hancock-Wood Electric selects Hunt Technologies

Hancock-wood electric cooperative selects hunt technologies’ two-way automatic meter reading solution for system-wide use

PEQUOT LAKES, Minn. – April 13, 2004 — Hunt Technologies is pleased to announce that Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative of North Baltimore, Ohio, has chosen to install Hunt Technologies’ TS2, two-way power line carrier-based automatic meter reading solution across its entire service area.

The utility began its full deployment in January, after conducting a pilot test on 800 residential meters located on Kelly Island, a popular tourist destination in Lake Erie. Over the next three to four years, Hancock-Wood staff will install TS2 units on all 11,500 residential meters. The utility also plans to use three-phase TS2 units for its 300 to 400 commercial customers.

A need to reduce meter-reading costs and streamline the process prompted Hancock-Wood’s search for meter-reading solutions. System demographics and density made power line carrier based technology the smart choice, but staff has discovered benefits beyond meter-reading.

“There are a lot more benefits than just meter-reading,” said Bill Barnhart, Hancock-Wood’s manager of engineering and operations. “We use the blink counts for power quality analysis, and it has given us greater flexibility in billing.”

Hancock-Wood’s customer service department also values the system’s ability to provide daily meter reads. Having the data available helps them better field customers’ questions.

“Daily reads are a capability they’ve not had before,” Barnhart said.

The data also has merged smoothly with the utility’s billing system. Though billing staff was concerned about the system’s compatibility, the accuracy of the first billing data extract transformed them into Turtle System boosters.

“After the first report, they asked how soon we could get all the units installed,” Barnhart said.

Future plans for the system include using demand reports to help with load modeling, and offering commercial customers’ data about their usage via the web — a particularly valuable move in the community of Findlay, ranked as one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities.

With savings in multiple departments, Barnhart estimates the utility will see a return on its TS2 investment in a little over five years.

Service and support was another factor in Hancock-Wood’s choice.

“Customer service is one of Hunt’s strong points. During our pilot project, they monitored our system and called to let us know of problems even before we noticed them,” Barnhart said. “Both customer service and technical support have been top-notch.”

About Hunt Technologies, Inc.

Hunt Technologies employs innovative technology to deliver an endpoint information system that increases operational efficiency while optimizing the utility investment dollar. EPIC® – End Point Information & Control – provides utilities with a choice of a one-way Turtle® System, a bi-directional TS2 System, or a combination of the two.

This allows utilities the flexibility to deploy the system that best meets their objectives. With more than 450 customers worldwide, Hunt is a market leader in the industry. To date, 4 million endpoints have been deployed and are actively collecting information to enhance utility performance. For more information on Hunt Technologies, visit www.turtletech.com.

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