Over time, our customers have asked for an on-line outage map and the ability to report an outage either through their phones via a text message or through their on-line SmartHub accounts.
Additionally, other customers say they want a faster disconnect/reconnect process that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the phone or internet.
I am pleased to say that Elmhurst has made great progress toward that goal. We are now in the second year of a 10-year meter replacement program. These new meters provide information for the outage mapping system and allow remote reconnection of your meter without driving to your location.
We currently have replaced approximately 590 of the old meters with the new meters. Elmhurst will replace an additional 1,700 meters in the next few months. Every year for the next nine years, we will be replacing about 1,700 meters until the majority of all the meters are replaced. This will eliminate the need to drive through the neighborhoods with the Elmhurst metering van to collect meter data. This saves fuel, lowers carbon emissions, and provides a significant reduction in overhead costs for your customer owned utility.
If you have one of these meters and are in the unfortunate circumstance of being disconnected, you will be able to reconnect 24 hours a day via your SmartHub account by paying with a credit card and yourpower will immediately be restored. These new meters eliminate the costly requirement to send a technician to your residence to disconnect or reconnect the meter.
Within the next few months, we expect to bring the outage map online. This will allow customers to see the extent of an outage. The customer cell phone number listed within your SmartHub account will be able to send an outage report and view the outage map. Initially, the accuracy of the mapping may be limited as it will depend on the number and location of the replacement meters, however this will dramatically improve over time.
Thanks for voicing your concerns and ideas as we move our infrastructure and technology into the future.
Bryan Bertacchi, General Manager