The use of prepaid accounts negates the need for deposits and reduces the financial risk for the utility service provider. Consumers who opt into the prepaid system have access to detailed information about their energy consumption and can choose to pay smaller amounts more frequently, which provides greater flexibility in budgeting.
Midstate Electric collaborated with Exceleron Software, using the Prepaid Account Management System (PAMS) to implement its prepaid program in November 2010. The PAMS software was integrated with Midstate’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) Smart Grid solution, Elster’s EnergyAxis, as well as the utility’s CIS database.
Jeff Severs, COO of Exceleron Software says, “We’re very pleased to hear about Midstate Electric’s experience, which confirms that utilities and the end-users are benefiting from PAMS in many ways. When that information is shared at CS Week and similar events, it encourages other utilities to extend prepayment options to their members and customers, too.”
Elster’s executive vice president of customers and markets for North America, David Green, observes, “This combined project by Midstate Electric, Exceleron Software and Elster exemplifies the tremendous value that the Smart Grid can bring to utility customers. Elster’s EnergyAxis works seamlessly with a utility’s existing IT infrastructure, including new applications like Exceleron’s prepaid platform, to deliver Smart Grid benefits in the form of customer services and energy savings.”
Midstate Electric, which delivers electric service to more than 18,000 meters in Central Oregon, reports increased customer satisfaction with the flexibility of prepayment options.
David Schneider adds: “These are difficult economic times in Central Oregon, and many of our members have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their bills. We’re really pleased to be able to use PAMS with Elster’s EnergyAxis solution to offer prepaid accounts as an alternative to requesting larger deposits under our traditional billing system.”
CS Week will be held May 23-26 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Schneider’s presentation is scheduled for 9:15 on Wednesday, May 25.
Elster provides distribution monitoring and control, advanced smart metering, demand response, networking and software solutions, and numerous related communications and services.