Carroll Electric is moving forward with a major technology upgrade that the company says will save money and energy. The utility has more than 69,000 members. The key component of the upgrade is the deployment and installation of smart meters, which use an advanced metering infrastructure to record energy usage in real time and in greater detail than manual readings.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded additional funding to Carroll Electric and nine other rural electric cooperatives and utilities to bring the benefits of the smart meter technology to rural customers. The funding came after an announcement by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in which he touting the importance of smart grid technology.
In 3009, more than 6,000 Carroll Electric members were part of a successful pilot program. Since that time, more than 30,000 meters have been installed in Carroll, Benton, and Madison counties. All residential installations are expected to be complete by the end of 2012.
Through the technology upgrade, Carroll Electric will be able to provide members with detailed information about their energy usage at different times of the day. This will enable members to better manage their energy use. The technology initiative is considered another step in efforts to improve the reliability and affordability of members’ electric service.
Rob Boaz, president and CEO of Carroll Electric, says, “We are continually seeking ways to help our members reduce their energy use.This technology is a perfect fit with our commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable service.”
Carroll Electric, which claims that its service rates as being 29 percent below the national average, is headquartered in Berryville, Arkansas with substations in Bentonville, Jasper and Huntville.