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Monthly Archives: February 2013


NISC MDMS Assisting Baldwin with Advanced Meter Deployment

Advanced meters are becoming an essential tool for today’s utility. They provide a constant connection to the member and help each organization monitor the amount of energy being used at each location. As essential as these new meters are, implementation requires an overhaul of an entire system, which can be a bit tricky. This is where the advanced metering software can provide a leg up, which is how NISC’s Meter Data Management System (MDMS) is helping Baldwin EMC of Summerdale, Ala., with rolling out the new meters. “It’s helped us with our meter deployment,” said Alan Schott, Chief Financial Officer at Baldwin. We can determine if we’ve done exactly all of the field work that was necessary in certain cases.” Schott says Baldwin is about 15 percent complete with their deployment of the advanced meters – they selected the Gridstream RF model from Landis + Gyr - and they’ve been able to detect a few cases of unauthorized usage through the MDMS. “If a location should be disconnected, and we failed to disconnect the service when we changed the meter out, the meter will be listed as having unauthorized usage,” Schott said. “The MDMS allows us to ensure that we are accurately completing our meter deployment.” Selecting the right AMI software vendor can be a rigorous process, and Schott and Baldwin detailed a number of criteria they were looking for while evaluating potential partners. Among the key traits were ease of use, quick data access and integration with their consumer information system. “We had over 30 different criteria that we used to evaluate MDM software packages,” Schott said. “We graded all the vendors against the criteria, and NISC provided Baldwin EMC the best value, which [...]

By | February 19th, 2013|News|0 Comments

North Star Electric Enhances Board Meetings with CalltoOrder

About a year and a half ago, Ann Ellis and the staff at North Star Electric Co-op of Baudette, Minn., decided to take their board meeting books digital. Instead of creating 100-page booklets that had to be mailed out, the board members used laptops to access emailed versions of the board books. The digital transition did not meet the expectations of one board member. “It was probably a good step, because they got into the digital age, but we had one board member that turned in his laptop,” said Ellis, Finance Manager for North Star. “So, we had to continue to make one board packet and mail it.” Fast forward to January of 2013, and the North Star board members were met with something a little different upon entering the meeting, iPads loaded with NISC’s CalltoOrderTM app. Only one North Star board member had even touched an iPad, but after a training session and a little time with the CalltoOrder app, they were off and running. “The board member that turned in his laptop said ‘oh, I think I can do this.’ So that was a huge hurdle we got past,” Ellis said. The immediate benefits of CalltoOrder for the board members are fairly obvious, but there are some long-lasting effects that will make the app useful between meetings. Rather than keeping a shelf full of board books from months past, board members can consult the app for past meeting minutes. “If a member calls one of our board members and complains about the reconnect policy, he can look at the reconnect policy to see what it really says,” Ellis said. “It puts all the resources that they need in a one-stop shop, instead of [...]

By | February 4th, 2013|News|0 Comments