Because electricity reserve margins are diminishing and transmission grids are reaching their maximum load capacity, Burbank Water and Power – in collaboration with SmartSynch – has begun deploying Wi-Fi-enabled SmartMeters, which will operate on a new municipal Wi-Fi network deployed by BWP. The utility serves 45,000 households and 6,000 businesses in Burbank, Calif., with water and electricity. Once fully deployed, the municipal Wi-Fi network will cover the entire city and SmartSynch’s Wi-Fi-enabled SmartMeters will monitor BWP’s entire energy load.

Traditionally, BWP received electricity usage information from meters once a month. If electricity demand exceeded the supply, BWP would buy expensive power on the open market or conduct voluntary reductions.

To overcome this problem, BWP has begun deploying SmartSynch’s Wi-Fi-enabled SmartMeters, which improve energy efficiency and generation margins and reduce impact on the environment and expenses by:

  • Providing two-way communications – Requesting and receiving real-time energy usage information from SmartMeters enables the resolution of energy supply issues, significantly reducing expenses;
  • Automating processes – Distributing, collecting and organizing detailed energy usage data from SmartMeters over municipal Wi-Fi networks provides a greater return on investment than manual meter-reading;
  • Empowering customers – Giving customers a means to make informed decisions about their use of electricity helps reduce their impact on the environment, maintain generation margins for improved reliability and reduce the cost of energy.

To support SmartSynch’s Wi-Fi-enabled SmartMeters, BWP is deploying a standards-based municipal Wi-Fi network. In contrast to proprietary networks, which some utilities have deployed, standards-based Wi-Fi networks are interoperable and deliver the robust bandwidth required to support the real-time delivery of energy usage data between Wi-Fi-enabled SmartMeters and utilities.

“SmartSynch promptly responded to my inquiries, understood the deployment requirements and provided me with a detailed proposal that helped me exceed my deployment goals,” said BWP Assistant General Manager Fred Fletcher. “I’ve been very impressed by the resources provided by SmartSynch and the functionality of its Wi-Fi-enabled SmartMeters.”