PlanFirst Success Story: City of Adel

DCA’s PlanFirst program recognizes and rewards Georgia communities that clearly demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their Local Comprehensive Plan. Our PlanFirst “Success Story” series highlights these cities and counties by sharing their incredible achievements. You can view all of the communities on our Story Map.

Adel’s “Replace Metering” project was identified in the short-term work program of the 2015 Greater Cook County Comprehensive Plan Update. It had been on the radar of local leaders as a means to provide real-time information to customers that can be found in individualized usage reports for several years.

Historically, the city had one person dedicated for meter reading and years later added a second to assist. They read electric, gas and water utility meters. These employees spent an average of 20 days per month walking the city, obtaining readings. They were challenged by weather, locked gates, bad dogs, and difficulty scheduling time off.

On March 16, 2015, city officials awarded a $1.3 million bid to install electronic metering for electric, gas and water services. Assisting with the financing of this project was an $850,000 Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) loan to fund the water component of this project. The advanced metering system combines interval data measurement with continuously available remote communications.

With increasing technology, there is an increasing demand for customer expectations and being able to provide them with hourly readings and consumption information at the touch of a button adds consumer confidence. The information reports provide customers with the ability to identify the exact date and time they may have experienced a problem, such as excessive electrical usage or when a water leak may have begun. The project was completed in December 2019.

As a result, there have been a higher level of accurate readings, resulting in fewer adjustments to utility bills. All meters are read multiple times per day, allowing for meter readings on-demand. Officials were able to determine when a water leak may have begun or when a customer’s electric usage peaks.

Another benefit of this initiative was the opportunity to move employees into other positions, thereby creating greater manpower without hiring additional personnel. This system has reduced customer complaints as it has instilled more confidence in the consumption for which the customer is being billed.