ARLINGTON, Texas, April 5, 2002 — Utility Data Resources Inc. (UDRI) announced an agreement with Sharyland Utilities L.P. to provide a new service to Sharyland Utilities’ customers that allows them to access and view, via the Internet, energy usage in their businesses or homes.
Sharyland Utilities is the only utility in the United States to offer this service to 100% of its customer base including residential users, UDRI said. The service, which Sharyland Utilities provides free to the customer, was launched on Feb. 14th.
The new service is an expansion of Sharyland Utilities’ total metering requirements contract provided by UDRI’s parent company, MeterSmart. The customer can view their energy usage information through a secure Web site by entering a unique user identification and password. The site provides the customer with hourly kilowatt usage in numerical and graphical formats. The customer’s information is posted nightly and can be viewed anytime at the customer’s discretion. This is the same data that the utility collects daily for billing purposes.
Vance Hall, president of Utility Data Resources, said, “We are pleased to assist Sharyland Utilities in these efforts. Currently, Sharyland Utilities is the only utility where we offer this service to 100% of its customers. However, on an individual basis, we offer this service to other utilities across the United States.”
The sharing of energy data with customers on a fee and non-fee basis is a growing trend in this new deregulated environment.
Mark Caskey, general manager of Sharyland Utilities, said, “This is a service that will help all of our customers, including industrial and residential customers, make informed energy decisions by providing them helpful information about their energy usage on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.”
Caskey said, “This service supports Sharyland Utilities unique demand structure. Sharyland Utilities collects interval data on all significant classes of metered loads. On Jan. 1, 2002, deregulation started for most customers in Texas and as a part of deregulation, many wires companies implemented new tariffs that have a demand component for billing customers. Sharyland Utilities is the only utility that has the ability to bill all customers on actual demand because of its automated meter reading capabilities. Other customers in Texas, without metered demand, are billed from a demand derived from Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) load profiles. For distribution charges, Sharyland Utilities charges a rate based on the customer’s non-coincident monthly demand. For Transmission charges, Sharyland Utilities charges a rate based on the customer’s contribution to Sharyland Utilities four coincident summer peaks.”
The goal of this project is to inform the customers as much as possible regarding their usage so they will have a better understanding of their electric bill and encourage energy conservation.
Utility Data Resources Inc. also plans to offer additional fee-based services to customers, retail energy providers, and other service providers including: (1) direct to the customer e-mail reports regarding energy usage on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis; (2) an “energy alarm” service which notifies a customer when they have exceeded the maximum energy target, set by them, for a business or home; (3) allowing the customer, via the Internet, to update their energy usage to the current time of day.
UDRI also will team up with its sister company, E-MON L.P. to provide sub-metering services, which allow businesses to meter individual pieces of equipment, appliances or sub-tenants in buildings to determine very specific energy usage.
Sharyland Utilities L.P. (www.su-power.com) is a regulated electric utility “wires” company serving the Sharyland Plantation, a 6,000-acre commercial, industrial and residential development on the U.S. border with Mexico, situated between the cities of Mission and McAllen, Texas. Utility Data Resources Inc. (www.udri.com) provides services in remote meter data collection, data verification, and data presentation primarily for electric utilities. E-Mon L.P. (www.emon.com) is a manufacturer of electric meters serving the sub-metering industry.