Santa Clara electric utility pioneers meter reading program via WiFi

Silicon Valley Power, a nonprofit electric utility, purchased the Santa Clara WiFi assets from MetroFi in September and is now using those assets to pioneer a meter reading program that uses the WiFi access points to transfer information from home energy meters to the company in order to help customers reduce their power bills. The system also offers free outdoor WiFi service to the surrounding neighborhood.

The utility saw the purchase as a significant money saver. It bought the network for $205,000, and the utility says that price saved the company a half million dollars and years worth of time.

Using an Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution, Silicon Valley Power will be able to read a customer's meter every 15 minutes and relay immediate usage information to a customer, allowing the user to reduce energy during peak times or when rates are high.

The city's five-year plan seeks to appropriate $11 million to replace meters throughout Santa Clara and develop the system.

For more:
- see the Silicon Valley/ San Jose Business Journal

Related articles:
Santa Clara electric utility takes over metro WiFi network
MetroFi shutters its service
MetroFi tells subscribers to find another provider
MetroFi officially pulls out of WiFi biz in Portland and other cities

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