AMI Procurement and Implementation for Gas, Water and Electricity

Business Challenge

The City of Medicine Hat Utilities (CMH) delivers gas, water and electricity to area residents, businesses and industries in Alberta, Canada.  Over 99 percent of meters for the three services are read by meter readers who drive to every part of the service territory and manually record consumption at each meter.  To enable various benefits, including providing accurate, estimate-free readings, supporting network reliability, and achieving cost savings through lower labour costs and rate recovery, CMH resolved to embark on an AMI infrastructure project.

CMH planned to be the first utility in Canada, and one of the first utilities in North America to implement AMI across all three services.  One of the challenges is that each utility under CMH is run separately, with their own General Manager.  All decisions for this massive undertaking would require consensus across three city utilities.

Util-Assist’s Role

Util-Assist was the successful proponent of the City’s smart metering consultant RFP to provide guidance through the shift to an AMI infrastructure.  Util-Assist’s role was to provide general program management and project support services including strategic planning, technical recommendations, and implementation support.

Util-Assist led the CMH team through the development and release of three RFPs (MDM, AMI and Installation), followed by the vendor selection process and contract negotiations. Over a six month period, Util-Assist also led business process development exercises with the CMH team and the vendors.

Project Results

This is the largest project CMH has undertaken as a whole, and Util-Assist has brought value to the organization by successfully managing the competing interests of the three utilities.  The AMI, MDM and Installation RFPs yielded strong solutions, and sound business processes have been developed to support the upcoming changes.

At this stage CMH has achieved its goals for a pilot AMI implementation.   Util-Assist has been involved in helping to craft the message and final report on the results which will be presented to City Council to obtain approval for full deployment over the next few years.  Util-Assist has developed an implementation plan to complete the project, and we are excited to provide continuous support to see the project through.

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