Elster and the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP) have said that SRP, a provider of electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, will utilize its US Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) award to double its deployment of the Elster EnergyAxis advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) Smart Grid offering.

SRP estimates that the Elster’s EnergyAxis smart meters has enabled the Arizona utility to remotely address more than 748,000 customer orders, save more than 249,000 in labor hours, avoid more than 1.3 million driving miles and conserve 135,000 gallons of fuel.

Elster said that EnergyAxis enables SRP customers to better monitor and manage their energy consumption based on pre-selected time-of-use (TOU) rates. The utility has seen a 20% increase in voluntary TOU rate program participation with smart meter installations, as consumers gain access to TOU data via the SRP web portal or email notifications.

SRP is in the process of ordering an additional 500,000 EnergyAxis smart meters for delivery over the next three years, at a rate of approximately 14,000 smart meters per month. This will bring SRP’s total number of EnergyAxis endpoints to approximately one million. SRP will use Elster’s EnergyICT meter data management system to process the information from these endpoints.

In October 2009, the DOE awarded a matching grant to SRP under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s SGIG initiative.

Michael Lowe, manager of customer services-power at SRP, said: “We chose Elster’s EnergyAxis solution in 2003 to deploy one of the nation’s largest Smart Grid implementations, and were quickly able to generate tremendous benefits for customers and reduce our overall operational expenses.”

Mark Munday, president and CEO of Elster Solutions, said: “SRP was one of the first Elster customers to implement the EnergyAxis solution for smart grid applications. We are excited that the innovation, performance, reliability and service we have provided has led to Elster being chosen for the expansion of this significant and successful project.”