Itron Inc. and Exceleron Software LLC are delivering a smart payment solution to Jefferson Energy Cooperative, a member-owned energy cooperative with more than 30,000 customers in 11 Georgia counties.
Jefferson uses Itron’s cellular communications with MultiSpeak interface in conjunction with Exceleron’s MyUsage Prepaid to offer prepaid accounts to customers throughout its territory. Jefferson also uses Itron Services to manage and maintain the cellular communication solution.
Problems associated with delinquent accounts originally drove Jefferson to a prepayment solution in the 1990s. After using two earlier prepayment technologies, Jefferson turned to Itron to conduct a pilot test using cellular-based technology at locations throughout its service territory.
The solution has increased member satisfaction and encouraged energy conservation, with an average decrease in consumption of about 13 percent for prepaid accounts. Along with changes in deposit requirements for standard metering, implementing the prepay program has provided the utility with a 50 percent reduction in bad debt.