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Paying Upfront: A Review of Salt River Project’s M-Power Prepaid Program
B. Neenan

Arizona’s Salt River Project (SRP) has operated M-Power, the largest electricity prepayment program in the United States, since 1993. The customer population has grown to about 100,000 (approximately 12% of all residences served by SRP), and it has expanded from the initial target population—consumers with arrears facing service terminations and low-income customers—to include consumers with different expectations from M-Power service. The in-home portion of the SRP prepay configuration consists of a user display terminal (UDT) that communicates with the customer’s meter. The purchasing component of the M-Power program is the self-service kiosk, known as a PayCenter, accessed via a Smart Card, which is also the conduit through which electricity consumption information is transferred back to SRP.This report provides an overview of how the M-Power program works along with an examination of the technology, systems, and costs associated with the program.

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