Rolling Out AMI in San Francisco with Alison Kastama and Heather Pohl (Part 2)

Share it!

SF-PUC2_podcast

Alison Kastama, a communication manager with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Heather Pohl, a project manager at SFPUC for the Automated Water Meter Program, join The Water Values Podcast for the second half of a two-part discussion on the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in San Francisco. Both Alison and Heather explain the initiatives behind the automated metering program, the technology and tools used to educate customers on water usage reduction and the process to roll out AMI. This episode is bound to shed great light on AMI and provide valuable tips for utilities thinking about AMI deployment!

In this Session, You’ll Learn about:

  • How data is collected from automated and manual meters
  • The information and data included in the MyAccount portal that’s useful for customers
  • How customers can check how efficient they are with their water usage
  • Benefits of the AMI system

Resources and Links Mentioned in or Relevant to this Session Include:

 

Transcript

Click here to download the Transcript for Session 26 of The Water Values Podcast.

 

Thank You!

Thanks to each of you for listening and spreading the word about The Water Values Podcast! Keep the emails coming and please rate and review The Water Values Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher if you haven’t done so already. And don’t forget to tell your friends about the podcast and whatever you do, don’t forget to join The Water Values mailing list!

2 thoughts on “Rolling Out AMI in San Francisco with Alison Kastama and Heather Pohl (Part 2)

  1. Tejal Kshatriya

    Thank You Dave. I went through two of the podcasts related to the AMI project and they were extremely helpful with some great insights. SFPUC has covered a few niche points that will help me bring up some concerns that we will face during our AMI pilot phase. 🙂 .

    Do you have any podcast where utility have covered the detail of “theft” “billing cycle” etc . I would love to get the feedback from them regarding the following questions.

    1. What kind of future business processes did they adapt to address water conservation and to reduce water loss?
    2. Did they change any ordinance or policy to accommodate the AMI project For Example Deduct metering ?
    3. What is the top most complaint that they received during rolling the Pilot project phase?
    4. What surprises did they discover for the “Customer Face” or “Admin Face” portal during the project implementation and where there any problems that were not anticipated ?
    5. What kind of documentation was developed at an early stage of the project? What would they recommend as part of final documentation during project closeout?

  2. Heather Pohl

    Hi Tejal, I’m glad you found our webcast informative. Here are some responses (IN CAPS) to your questions above:
    . What kind of future business processes did they adapt to address water conservation and to reduce water loss?
    WE IMPLEMENTED A NEW WEB PORTAL FOR CUSTOMERS TO VIEW AMI-COLLECTED WATER USAGE EACH DAY ENCOURAGING CUSTOMERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON THEIR USAGE. THE WEBSITE, “MY ACCOUNT”, IS FULL OF CONSERVATION MESSAGING AND FEATURES SUCH AS OUR “GREEN BAR” (COMPARING YOUR USAGE TO A SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVING HOUSEHOLD), AND A “DROUGHT WATER USE TARGET” WHICH WE APPLY DURING PERIODS OF DROUGHT. WE ALSO LAUNCHED A CONTINUOUS USAGE NOTIFICATION PROGRAM TO NOTIFY SINGLE FAMILY CUSTOMERS OF CONTINUOUS WATER USAGE IN THEIR HOMES OVER A 72-HOUR PERIOD, WHICH MAY BE DUE TO A LEAK.
    2. Did they change any ordinance or policy to accommodate the AMI project For Example Deduct metering ? NO WE DID NOT.
    3. What is the top most complaint that they received during rolling the Pilot project phase?
    THE BIGGEST COMPLAINTS WE RECEIVED MIRRORED THOSE WE MIGHT GET FOR ANY NORMAL METER EXCHANGE (INCONVENIENCE OF THE WATER SHUT OFF, HIGHER BILL AS A RESULT OF A MORE ACCURATE METER, ETC.). COMPLAINTS SPECIFIC TO THE AMI ROLLOUT WERE FAIRLY LIMITED IN NUMBER BUT CENTERED AROUND RF SAFETY OR DATA SECURITY CONCERNS.
    4. What surprises did they discover for the “Customer Face” or “Admin Face” portal during the project implementation and where there any problems that were not anticipated ?
    OUR MY ACCOUNT PORTAL WAS DEVELOPED IN HOUSE AND REQUIRED A LARGE TIME AND EFFORT THAT MAY HAVE BEEN MINIMIZED WITH AN OFF-THE-SHELF EXTERNAL PRODUCT. HOWEVER, WE HAD FULL FLEXIBILITY ON DESIGN WITH OUR IN-HOUSE DEVELOPMENT AND REALLY GOT THE PRODUCT OUTCOME WE WANTED. THE MAIN CUSTOMER COMPLAINT WE GOT WHEN WE LAUNCHED MY ACCOUNT WAS THAT IT WASN’T INTEGRATED WITH OUR eBILL ONLINE PAYMENT HOSTED SYSTEM WHERE A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF OUR CUSTOMERS WERE ALREADY SIGNED UP TO PAY THEIR BILLS. APPROXIMATELY 2 YEARS LATER WE IMPLEMENTED A SINGLE-SIGN-ON SOLUTION FOR MY ACCOUNT AND eBILL.
    5. What kind of documentation was developed at an early stage of the project? What would they recommend as part of final documentation during project closeout?
    WE REQUIRED OUR CONTRACTOR TO DEVELOP A PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN THAT BECAME A LIVING DOCUMENT OVER THE DURATION OF THE PROJECT INSTALLATION. THIS PLAN HOUSED ALL BUSINESS PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES SUCH AS FIELD INSTALLATION PROCESSES, IT INTERFACING REQUIREMENTS, COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS AND MATERIALS, CONTRACTOR EMPLOYMENT POLICIES, QUALITY ASSURANCE CONTROL REQUIREMENTS, CLAIMS PROCESSES, WORK ORDER MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES, AND SAFETY CONTROLS. A FINAL CLOSEOUT LETTER WAS ALSO REQUIRED SUMMARIZING ALL WORK COMPLETED AND PROVIDING WARRANTY INFORMATION.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *