Honeywell has been selected by the City of Ponca City, Okla., to implement an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and energy-efficiency program that will help the city improve its utility services to residents while reducing its energy and operating spend, and impact on the environment.

Funded through a $15.5-million performance contract, with an additional $300,000 for equipment and maintenance, the work will increase city water revenue and save Ponca City an estimated $1.3 million in annual operating costs. These savings, which are guaranteed by Honeywell for 18 years, are expected to pay for the improvements with no additional costs to taxpayers. The projects also are expected to create a positive cash flow for the city of nearly $140,000 per year.

"This undertaking allows us to accomplish our meter infrastructure and energy conservation goals while preserving resources in our capital budget," said Homer Nicholson, mayor of Ponca City. "We can redirect those dollars down the road to other important initiatives like sewer upgrades and city park enhancements."

As part of the contract, Honeywell will implement a new electric and water meter reading system that will automate data collection, improving accuracy and minimizing the need to have meter readers visit customer properties. This includes the installation of more than 16,000 electric and 11,000 water meters from Sensus Metering Systems that are equipped with a digital register -- instead of the traditional rotating dials -- and wireless radio frequency (RF) technology.

At least four times a day, the meters will send their readings to receivers located throughout Ponca City. These receivers are connected to City Hall via Sensus FlexNet, a simple, reliable RF fixed network, and the metering data is compiled by the city's utility systems.

The electric meters also include two-way communication capabilities, which give the city greater visibility into and control of the electricity grid. So instead of just collecting usage data, utility employees can pinpoint the specific houses affected by a power outage, for example, or remotely shut off power if a resident is moving.

The AMI will allow the city to generate more timely and accurate usage and billing information. It also gives city residents the ability to personalize billing cycles and view consumption patterns to better manage their energy use. Plus, it will save the city and its utility customers costs by detecting leaks or other problems almost immediately.

Along with the meter infrastructure improvements, Honeywell will install its Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI), a control platform that will allow facility managers to monitor and control energy use across more than 15 city facilities, including the municipal airport and Marland Mansion museum. In addition, the company will make a variety of facility improvement throughout the city, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades and lighting retrofits, to improve staff comfort and productivity.

Honeywell also will upgrade more than 3,000 street lights with energy-efficient induction fixtures that provide better color rendering, and it will use longer-lasting light emitting diodes (LEDs) to replace nearly 1,000 traffic and pedestrian lights.

Combined, the upgrades to Ponca City's facilities are expected to reduce its energy use by 10 percent. This will help the city better manage its peak energy consumption, enabling it to purchase energy from Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) at less expensive rates and avoid costly penalties for going over the peak threshold.

The work will have a significant environmental impact as well, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6 million pounds per year. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing almost 590 cars from the road or planting more than 2,200 acres of trees.

Honeywell expects to install the AMI and complete the facility and traffic light improvements by July 2008. In addition, the company will provide ongoing measurement and verification of energy savings as part of the contract.