In 2008, the City of Cleveland, Division of Water (CWD) confronted the challenges of a declining customer base and increasing fixed costs, by sharpening its focus on means of supporting sustainability.
To meet this challenge, the CWD chose to install a state-of-the-art advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system on all 425,000 of its customers’ meters and selected Jacobs to support an AMI Business Case Study, RFP development and vendor selection for implementation of an AMI system.
decrease in bills for upgraded customer accounts across 425,000 meters (an estimated decrease from 18% to less than 1%)
installations per day made this project one of the largest and most aggressive implementations in the nation
Driving one of the most aggressive AMI implementations
CWD’s study began with a review of processes, procedures and costs of the current operation and expanded into a review of the spectrum of technologies and solutions available. The result of the study was that a 100% deployment of a fixed network AMI system was the best solution for CWD. Jacobs assisted the City in writing an RFP, soliciting and evaluating proposals and contract negotiations with the selected vendor and the installer.
Field installations began in 2012 with Jacobs as Project Manager overseeing the AMI contractor. With over 90% of the population having indoor meters the saturation rate of the project was a concern from the beginning. However, with dedicated resources that carefully tracked response rates for each customer communication attempt, and constantly adjusted processes to improve results.
Through these efforts the rate of daily installations increased to over 1,200 per day, making the Cleveland AMI project one of the largest and most aggressive implementations in the country.
Based on prior lessons learned, this project was accomplished with strong Jacobs quality controls including Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reporting, work order management optimization and frequent communication with project stakeholders. The project also required hands-on contractor management including the replacement of several key vendor roles to ensure the best resources were available to support installations throughout the multi-year duration.
The $115 million program was substantially completed in 2016 and resulted in more-accurate reads wirelessly transmitted to the CWD in support of improved customer service. To date, CWD has seen estimated bills decrease from 18% to less than 1% for upgraded accounts. Jacobs also supported preparation of customer enhancements including a customer-facing web portal with daily/hourly consumption levels and leak detection notification.
When the new system installation was substantially completed in 2016, the City was convinced they could not imagine operating without again.