Divided Council Approves Smart Meters

electric-meterThe Town of Smithfield has agreed to spend $209,677 to place an order for smart meters.

Impressed with the results of smart meters in the Town of Benson, Public Utilities Director Ted Credle said smart meters in Smithfield would be well suited for the towns needs.

In a 6-to-1 vote, with Councilman Travis Scott voting against the plan, the board agreed to purchase 400 electric and 400 water meters.  Once received the meters will be placed on the north side of Downtown Smithfield.  Credle says if all goes well, a second order for more meters could be placed as early as December or January with those meters going in homes and businesses south of Downtown Smithfield.

Credle said the Town has 4,434 electric meter customers and 5,694 water meter customers. He estimates it will take 3 to 4 years to fully implement the smart meter system, allowing the town to remotely monitor water and electric meters and would be more accurate. He said it would also eliminate the need to send an individual out once a month to take a meter reading.

A pilot study launched in November 2014 for six month indicated smart meters performed as expected.

Credle said smart meters would be mandatory for all customers.

Councilman Scott cast the only vote against the smart meter purchase saying he believed outdated billing software at the town hall should be upgraded before funds were spent on the new meters.