In a special statement Tuesday morning, Hope Water & Light, the City of Hope's utility company that serves much of the population in Hempstead County, announced the installation of new meters for both residential and business customers starting February 12.
In a special statement Tuesday morning, Hope Water & Light, the City of Hope’s utility company that serves much of the population in Hempstead County, announced the installation of new meters for both residential and business customers starting February 12.
Plans for the new meters and metering system were originally announced in 2017 in a series of public speeches over last summer as well as at the Hope City Board meeting. The upgrade of the new meters will replace existing HWL mechanical electric and water meters at homes and business locations.
HWL Assistant General Manager Charlotte Bradley said “New technology and communication capabilities are essential to maintaining the service our customers expect. Advanced meters and other technology upgrades provide a cost-effective way to ensure efficient and reliable electric and water service.”
HWL is using a contractor identified as Vanguard Utility Service (VUS) to install the new meters. Bradley said a postcard with replacement information will be sent to each service customer before the replacement is to take place. The postcard will contain information regarding the installation process with contact information for VUS.
Bradley said, “HWL is investing in necessary new equipment, including advanced meters. These meters transmit and receive data automatically and securely with our office. Two-way communication eliminates the need for manual meter reads and enables new programs for outage notification and alerts to help with troubleshooting and preventative maintenance.”
She also said, “With advanced metering, HWL will be able to provide a higher level of customer service; offer better electric and water reliability; and keep our operating costs low. The additional and timely information available through AMI will enable us to better address customer questions and issues.”
In the statement, Bradley said “That same information will give HWL a view of what is happening throughout the various distribution systems, thus enabling us to be more proactive and avoid outages or other system issues. Many functions that require sending crews out to the field today will be performed remotely with AMI, thus saving fuel and vehicle costs, in addition to being more environmentally friendly.”
The statement included a list of benefits related to advanced metering, which are said to include:
• Outage notification
• Customer portal – usage data
• Reduction of vehicle emissions (meter reader vehicles)
• Identification of theft (keeps costs low)
• Identification of water leaks or trouble shooting excessive usage
• Customer privacy – no meter reader on premise
• Reduced risk to utility employees – dog bites, vehicle incidents, other job hazards
In September 2017, HWL introduced its new customer information system, featuring the SmartHub website and application; the free App is still available for smart phones and devices on IOS and Android app stores.
Bradley said the new meters will allow customers to track their usage, pay bills electronically and communicate issues more efficiently.
“Visit our website at https://hopewl.smarthub.coop/Login.html#login: for instruction on how to set up your login. All customers are encouraged to sign up for HWL’s SmartHub application to take full advantage of its conveniences by calling the HWL office to apply and provide necessary information or using the website,” she said.
As before, Bradley encouraged all HWL customers to contact the HWL Customer Service Department to make sure their information is up to date.
Customers with questions can call HWL at 870-777-3000, she said.