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City of Tallahassee Customer Engagement Florida Benchmarking Consortium Spring Conference April 25, 2013 Presented by: Joseph Cheatham.

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Presentation on theme: "City of Tallahassee Customer Engagement Florida Benchmarking Consortium Spring Conference April 25, 2013 Presented by: Joseph Cheatham."— Presentation transcript:

1 City of Tallahassee Customer Engagement Florida Benchmarking Consortium Spring Conference April 25, 2013 Presented by: Joseph Cheatham

2 Advanced Waste Water Treatment Upgrade – Largest Capital Project – Well underway in 2011, Projected Completion in 2015 Modern Electric Plants – Key units with average age of < 7 years – New Large Units in 2000 and 2007 – No Projected Capacity Need Until 2021 Modern Solid Waste Collection Trucks – Modern Smart Carts for Recycling Aggressive Demand Side Management Plan 2 Healthy Infrastructure

3 25 th Largest Municipal Electric Utility in U.S. 115,000 Customers 225,000 electric, gas and water meters 3 Overview of Tallahassee

4 Upgrade of ~225,000 electric, water and gas meters and backhaul communications network using the Elster Energy Axis Smart Grid Solution. – Electric and Water Meter Radio Module upgrades were completed in December – Gas Meter Radio Module upgrades began in 2008, but have been on hold. Current pilot population of ~2,000 in operation. 4 Infrastructure

5 Customer Satisfaction e+ Online SmartBill Instant Alert Nights & Weekends Community Outreach Monthly Mailings 5 Actions into Results Most Livable City in America, U.S. Conference of Mayors Best Public Power Utility in the Nation, E.F. Scattergood Award, APPA 2012 Energy Innovator Award, APPA

6 6 Customer Engagement

7 7 Choices & Services

8 8 Business as Usual? Utility service has essentially been measured and billed the same since we started doing business over 100 years ago

9 SmartBill Paperless billing plan Free electronic payment option Environmental and cost savings 30% residential participation 9 Electronic Payments

10 10 Customer Service and Reporting 21% Averaging increases Analysis and Outcomes Good  What is SmartBill? SmartBill is the monthly, paperless utility bill customers receive directly by .  Outcomes Over 31,000 customers have chosen the option to receive their utility bill through . Reduced Operating Costs by $162,000 per year Now > 31,000!

11 11 Customer Research What are the perceived values of your customers pertaining to a smart grid?

12 12 Smart Grid Customer Messaging Imagine the Future Where you have more control of your utility use. Where your utility meters will be accurately read daily or on demand without sending trucks or employees into the field. Where electric outages and water leaks will be pinpointed remotely allowing more efficient, quicker repair.

13 13 Smart Grid Customer Messaging Imagine the Future Where you have access to up-to-date billing and usage information via the web. Where you have easy-to-use tools to help you Save Energy, Save Water and…SAVE MONEY. Where you have choices for enhanced energy pricing programs that fit your lifestyle. When we are smarter about conserving our energy and water and protecting our environment.

14 Installation of an Aclara Meter Data Management System to store, validate, and analyze data. Operational efficiencies such as, – Water leak detection and notification – Outage notification – Remote meter connection and disconnection – Automatic meter reading Online presentment of useful information 14 Software Systems

15 15 Technology - Lessons Learned Be cautious about the term “real time.” Most data is actually sent in a batches and most is “current” as of 12 midnight. It is not up to the minute/second. Be cautious about 100% reliance on the technology. Previous business practices will become important when a part of your system is down for any length of time. Utilize water data for leak detection as soon as you can. Customers will expect this, as will the utility staff. If the reconnect does not work, troubleshooting the network can take time. You will need a manual backup plan.

16 16 Technology - Lessons Learned The technology is only as good as your business practices around it. You will need a platform (web-based for example) to provide customer with their usage data very quickly after deployment. They know you have the data. They will expect you to share it. The sharing of residential data is pretty straightforward. Non-residential and demand-based will be more complex. Usage data still needs to be seen and available at the meter.

17 New Rate Plans Optional rate plans to meet customer lifestyles, like Nights & Weekends Pricing 17 Nights & Weekends Pricing Plan

18 Pay what you want, when you want Pre-pay for your utility services and receive daily updates via, and the web. Customized low balance alerts can be sent by text, , and phone. 18 Pay As You Go Pricing Plan Under Development

19 19 Neighborhood REACH

20 National Award-Winning Program Most Livable City in America 2011 (U.S. Conference of Mayors) Unique Features Pilot – 2, 000 homes Reduction of Usage U.S. Census Data ₋ Median Income and Age of Home City-funded ₋ Electric Utility Revenue Job Creation 20 Neighborhood REACH

21 Web-Based Tool On-line account management with Up-to- Date cost and usage information Information for ALL services at your finger tips View Usage by month, day or hour Self-Energy Audit 21 e+ Online

22 22 e+ Online

23 23 e+ Online

24 24 e+ Online

25 25 e+ Online

26 26 e+ Online

27 27 e+ Online

28 28 e+ Online

29 29 Customer Service and Reporting Over 50% increase in past year Analysis and Outcomes Good  What is e + Plus Online A web-based customer information system.  Outcomes Over 30,000 customers have created a profile on e + plus Online. Provides Greater Operational Efficiencies

30 30 Web & Mobile Your Own Utilities developed an app for Android and Apple systems that will include: Bills & Payments Usage Reporting (emergencies like outages) Contact

31 Smart Grid Enabled Devices Can Benefit the Customer and the Utility Programmable Controllable Thermostats can maximize energy savings and work with Time of Use rate plans These and other similar devices can facilitate both price response and demand response programs designed to reduce peak demand 31 SMART Devices

32 In 2010, Your Own Utilities began work on a redesign to improve how customers do business with us. 32 Website Redesign Challenge – We had to fit the design into a predetermined City template.

33 33

34 New web design based on a Content Management System is in development and was launched September The new site will include multiple versions of content based on devices used. 34 Website Redesign

35 Customer Satisfaction Survey 35 On average 88% strongly agree their overall experience was satisfactory

36 89% report support services to be “excellent” or “good” 96.5% report staff to be very courteous and professional 94% report inquires are handled quickly 93% report inquires are handled to their satisfaction 36 Customer Surveys – 2012 Results

37 37 Customer Service and Reporting Future Programs Customer Phone Apps Outage Management System Analysis and Outcomes Peak Smart is an automated electric demand response program designed to curtail energy needs during peak events

38 38 Discussion Contact Information Joseph Cheatham I Wastewater Utility Operations Mgr. I Your Own Utilities (o) I (c) I B Springhill Road I Tallahassee, Fl 32305


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