How Technology Benefits Cooperatives

Orange County REMC is constantly on the move. Whether it’s restoring power after a storm, running maintenance on our 1,100 miles of line or preforming administrative duties, we’re all striving to improve and become more efficient. Technology plays a large part in that process. A good example of this, several years ago before AMI (advanced meter infrastructure), every one of our nearly 8,000 meters had to be physically read…every month! MeterChange_Source_MikeKjoseNot only did this take a lot of time but added cost by paying contractors to collect the meter data. Now, with AMI, all the meter data is simply uploaded to our system for billing. This process saves time, reduces the chance for human error, its more efficient, and saves money.

Remember when the only options you had to pay your electric bill was the either mail it or stop by the office and pay it? Well, because of technology, now you have several options to choose from. You can pay your bill online, use an app on your phone, or have it automatically withdrawn from your bank account or credit card. Just like the AMI system, this makes it more efficient and, as an added bonus, it also makes it more convenient for you, the member.

Recently our Systems Engineer, Cade Powers, wrote an article titled “Outage Management”. He wrote about our new mapping system and the benefits it offers. Everything from reporting an outage, displaying locations on the map, analyzing and recording the outage. Bottom line, it helps us to manage outages more efficiently and thus, saving us time and money. Along with that, we have also adopted mobile technologies that allows our field teams to work more efficient, smarter and faster.

Orange County REMC is committed to providing reliable power at a reasonable cost to our members. By keeping our cost low we are able to pass that savings on to you, our member. In order for us to be successful we need to continue to find opportunities to work smarter and more efficient. The most successful coops are the ones that embrace new technologies instead of resisting them. With energy cost on the rise this is more important now that ever.

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