Fulton finalizes first component of Smart Grid initiative

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FULTON - The Fulton City Council discussed the final steps in the first component of the city's 'smart grid' initiative. 

The program hopes to automate electric, water and gas meter readings in the city. The program started with the help of a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Superintendent of Utilities Darrell Dunlap said electric meters were the first priority. 

"The electric meter program started in 2011," he said. "We are going through some software upgrades on the meters now to finalize the project." 

Dunlap said the city can now read every meter, turn electricity services on and off on homes, and disconnect the power in the event of a fire. 

The city is also providing a customer portal for residents who use the service. Customers can log into the system and see their usage over time. Dunlap said there are several other features to benefit customers. 

"Customers will get hourly readings on their electric meter," he said. "Customers can set up a budget and get alerts when they are using close to their set budget." 

Dunlap said training for customer portal representatives will take place next week. The city is currently testing water meters, and there is a training session for the gas modules this week.