Municipal Utilities Authority Reclaims Lost Revenue With Smart Metering

August 9, 2021
  • The project will install 13,000 Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meters, aka “Smart Meters” to replace an outdated and inefficient manual meter reading system with the most modern, state of the art, and proficient electronic meter reading infrastructure

  • This is the first Energy Savings Improvement Program by a Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) in New Jersey

  • New technology will greatly improve accuracy and efficiency, while building resilience into energy infrastructure

The Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority (WMUA) announced it signed off on an Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) with energy and sustainability expert Schneider Electric. This ESIP is the first to be utilized by an MUA in the state of New Jersey. The project will significantly modernize the WMUA’s water and wastewater facilities and community operations through the addition of 13,000 Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meters, improved Pollution Control Plant (PCP) processes including a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and traditional infrastructure improvements that will enhance the quality of life for residents and generate energy savings for the community.

Parts of Willingboro’s existing water/wastewater infrastructure date back to the 1950s and the township has been exploring ways to improve its infrastructure to provide the greatest value to its residents. The WMUA entered the partnership with Schneider Electric because of the strong track record in Smart Communities solutions to enhance utility infrastructures and deliver impressive energy savings. The WMUA Energy Savings Improvement Program will garner over $7 million of savings over twenty years and will not impact the rate structure primarily due to significant savings from process and operational improvements and extremely low cost of financing through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIT).

“Willingboro is a township that prides itself on its unique history of innovation and we are looking forward to integrating advanced technology and systems that will bring our MUA into the 21st century,” said Andrew Weber, Executive Director, WMUA.

“Schneider Electric helped us take advantage of an ESIP to make our energy infrastructure more consistent, accurate, efficient and automated. We’re laying the groundwork for fiscally-responsible energy management and system resilience, which translates into reliable critical service continuity for our citizens.” 

As part of the ESIP, Schneider Electric is working with the MUA to install 13,000 AMI water meters. These meters will provide benefits to the community including:

  • Real time measurement readings for improved data analysis that delivers a more accurate reflection of how water is being used and where it is coming from
  • More efficient use of personnel who are currently tasked with reading water meters and improved emergency response times
  • Faster and more efficient leak detections in water systems
  • An online portal for residents to check their personal water usage at any time
  •  More transparency and accuracy in billing

The ESIP will enhance PCP processes through the inclusion of a CHP plant that will utilize cleaned and filtered methane gas currently produced at the PCP, combined with solar energy and battery storage to supply the MUA’s microgrid. The CHP plant will serve as the foundation for a microgrid solution that can reduce energy costs and emissions, provide energy resilience to keep the plant operational during grid outages, and diversify the energy supply.

“There are a lot of things we can do with our expertise in ESIPs to make sure that the WMUA gets the best improvements possible to achieve their goals,” said Weston Ernst, Regional Director, Schneider Electric. “Everyone in the community relies on the WMUA and we’re excited to work on a project that will have a lasting impact not only on the WMUA staff but the community at large.”

Over the past 28 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented nearly 800 ESIPs energy savings improvement program projects across the nation, saving its clients more than $2.6 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits such as improved facility efficiency, operational and process enhancements, financial management and environmental protection. 

For more information on how Schneider Electric helps public entities tackle their top priorities with energy efficiency, please visit www.schneider-electric.us/enable.  

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