The city of Norcross, Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG) and GE Energy are working together to deploy advanced technologies to modernize the city’s electric grid. As a part of GE’s Grid IQ: Solutions as a Service offering, these technologies will enable the city to expand its current capabilities to deliver an array of energy services to more efficiently meet residents’ growing energy needs.

Community-owned utilities are faced with the same energy challenges as the rest of the world— increasing energy demand, environmental concerns, rising costs and an aging infrastructure. GE’s Grid IQ: Solutions as a service offering is an integrated grid modernization solution specifically designed for small to mid-market utilities. It offers these utilities the opportunity to deploy smarter grid technologies that traditionally have only been cost-effective to larger investor-owned utilities (IOUs). It also enables them to accelerate deployment with immediate benefits and deliver advanced capabilities while reducing and/or avoiding upfront costs.

These expanded capabilities will offer new services and benefits for the residents of Norcross:

  • Access to more energy usage information
  • Faster response to power outages
  • Pre-payment options to better understand and control energy usage
  • Online portal access to an array of information, including home energy usage, patterns and billing
  • Automated meter reading

A key partner in this effort is ECG, which provides strategic services to community-owned utility systems to contribute to the economic growth of Georgia communities and continually evaluates solutions for participant utilities’ needs. ECG chose the GE solution as the best fit not only for Norcross, but also in anticipation of the future needs of other municipal utilities. With this new technology offering, Norcross and other ECG participants now will have access to advanced energy management tools and hardware that will allow them to enhance their reliable and cost-efficient energy services.

The city will begin deploying the first phase of technology during the spring of 2012, with consumers beginning to experience the benefits later in 2012.

GE Grid IQ: Solution as a Service offering features three different delivery models: implemented solutions, GE-hosted data service and service-based offerings, all of which can include advanced metering infrastructure, meter data management systems, demand response management system, geospatial information services and outage management system. The solution also will integrate with existing utility systems, such as customer information systems, integrated voice response and customer billing.