San Diego Operates Inbound
California`s passage of Assembly Bill 1890, with its restructuring provisions including Direct Access implementation and 10 percent mass market rate reduction requirements, provided San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) with reason to seek a cost-effective means of complying with requirements. To participate in a direct-access program, hourly consumption data must be available on a daily basis. SDG&E has installed International Teldata data-logging telemetry interface units at 30 residential and commercial/industrial sites and is receiving data via telephone into Teldata`s MeterSentry Manager software.
The system is operating as a dial-inbound system, although demand call outs are also available. Since customers are spread out, the “surgical” approach to gathering data enables customers who wish to participate to do so without requiring adjacent site installations. “The telephone-based automatic meter reading system best fits our needs because the telephone system that transports data back and forth between customers and parties such as SDG&E, retail companies, ISOs, power exchanges, etc. has already been installed and is operated and maintained by the local telephone company,” stated Steve Grady, SDG&E`s principal engineer. “The Teldata`s dial-inbound system shares the existing telephone line and thereby saves telephone installation charges and monthly service charges for dedicated phone lines that would otherwise be required for dial-outbound systems.” The system also allows AMR costs to be shared among multiple utilities with its gas, electric and water meter reading capability. The test project began in August 1996 and will continue at least through January 1997.
PSE&G`s gas service information management system utilizes application software designed by Sapient Corp., Hammerhead pen-based computers manufactured by WalkAbout Computers and the Bell Atlantic/NYNEX CDPD wireless network. Racotek Inc. provided the enabling communications technologies (KeyWare middleware) and related consulting services and will also provide managed network services on an ongoing basis.