The city of Austin has selected Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing to replace an outdated, legacy customer information system (CIS) and support the city’s smart grid initiatives. The city of Austin will roll the solution out to both Austin Energy – the nation’s ninth largest community-owned electric utility with 388,000 customers – and Austin Water. The application will provide Austin Energy with a complete view of customer data and streamline billing processes to enable more responsive customer service. Austin Energy plans to work with IBM on the implementation.

Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing will enable Austin Energy to implement innovative energy efficient and demand management programs by providing detailed energy usage data that will allow its customers to make more informed decisions to conserve energy. The application will also help Austin Energy create new rate structures to support the future needs of its customers.

Austin Energy is embarking on the Pecan Street Project, an effort to design a new, clean energy infrastructure business model and proving ground for future energy technology. The utility is working with Oracle, as well as Applied Materials, Dell, GE Energy, IBM, Intel, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Freescale Semiconductor, GridPoint, The University of Texas’ Austin Technology Incubator, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on this venture.

Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing will function as a critical foundational component of the Pecan Street Project. Austin Energy hopes to design a comprehensive system that delivers abundant, reliable and affordable energy to Austin’s growing population.

Additional goals of the project include: responsible management of air and water, elimination of the need for more polluting power plants, and generation of a power plant’s worth of energy within the city limits with renewable resources.

Austin intends to share its initiative with cities across America and around the world. The project will help cities map out the creation of the infrastructure required to power their economies and preserve the environment.

A long-term Oracle customer, Austin Energy also uses Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management to help ensure service availability and automate field operations via dispatch, scheduling and routing. With the Oracle solution, Austin Energy is able to provide its field workers the optimal route with the least mileage and fewest truck rolls, which helps reduce fuel consumption, highway congestion and tailpipe emissions.

In the future, Austin Energy hopes to expand its mobile workforce management capabilities to improve workforce productivity and reduce operating expenses while minimizing missed appointments, service backlogs and overtime costs.