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Memphis utility chooses SmartSynch for project

JACKSON — SmartSynch Inc. has been selected by Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), the largest three-service public utility in the nation, as the solutions provider for its three-year Smart Grid Demonstration Project launched earlier this year.

SmartSynch will provide approximately 1,000 participating households with SmartSynch SmartMeters that will automatically read and record hourly information about their energy usage and the cellular network services to enable two-way communications between MLGW, the smart meter and participating customers.

SmartSynch will also provide in-home energy displays to half of the participants to monitor real-time energy use and cost information. The remaining half will be able to monitor their usage information online via a special MLGW website.

As an added benefit, participants will no longer be subjected to estimated meter readings, or the need to report outages (since the smart meters will send outage signals automatically to the utility).

MLGW will install hardware for the 1,000 participants later this year.

For MLGW, the goal of the demonstration is two-fold: begin informing and motivating customers to better control electricity usage; and, gain sufficient results and participant feedback to develop a business case for the future deployment of smart grid solutions throughout its entire service territory. In 2008, MLGW households used 36 percent more electricity than the U.S. average. Smart grid technology is another tool to help customers identify energy consumption and make improvements to lower their usage—while lowering their utility costs.

“We are pleased that our smart grid solution will play a role in helping MLGW bring their electricity grid into the 21st century,” said Stephen Johnston, SmartSynch’s chief executive officer. “This is yet another testament to the value of smart grid solutions utilizing existing cellular networks in lieu of a multi-million dollar private network build-out. Without existing cellular networks, it would be economically impossible for MLGW to strategically deploy this depth of remote functionality in increments of one to two thousand households.”

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