The three main themes the discussion focused on:
- AMI implementations are time-consuming and arduous projects; therefore, involving team members from multiple departments can be instrumental in gaining different perspectives and in ensuring a smooth deployment. Utilities must not only talk about what the technology is, but also share the why behind the project.
- Utilities must be proactive with providing and communicating AMI benefits to customers. Messaging should be targeted and consistent across all platforms.
- Providing residents with their usage data is not enough. Utilities should also help customers understand what the numbers mean either with leak alerts, bill forecasts, or even by simply walking residents through their usage and actions they can take to be more efficient. This also means anticipating questions and being prepared with FAQ as a resource to customer facing staff members.
Lauren Brown has extensive experience as a business consultant delivering complex solutions in the local government industry. She has been instrumental in helping create and deliver value added solutions on a consistent basis and is a champion for the utility clients MeterSYS serves.She has served as project manager for multiple AMR and AMI implementations across a variety of vendors and utility sizes, managed numerous software integrations, and orchestrated business process and operational redesigns for municipalities. Throughout these engagements, Lauren has provided consistent and transformational results for the organizations her teams have supported. Lauren received her MPA from UNC-Wilmington, with a focus on public policy. She is actively involved in the water industry, is an enthusiastic supporter of a variety of clean water initiatives, and is a member of the Raleigh Astronomy Club.
Charles Bohlig has been with East Bay Municipal Utility District since 2004. Charles administered EBMUD’s AMI pilot research. Currently, he serves as the Supervisor of Water Conservation. In this role, he creates and implements the district’s incentive programs, and directs their water budget program. During this time he has also co-authored the Division’s Water Conservation Master Plan. Charles also supported the District’s Urban Water Management Plans and the Utilities’ Demand Projects out to the year 2050. Before joining EBMUD, Charles was an Energy Analysis for Pacific Gas & Electric Company. He has over 25 year of experience in water and energy resource management and currently serves on the Board of California Water Efficiency Partnership (CalWEP).
Thomas Swaw has worked in the Information Technology field for twenty-five years and worked for the Village of Oak Lawn for sixteen. During the Village’s conversion to AMI, Thomas was responsible for providing data integration for the AMI system, Watersmart, and the Villages Billing System.