Gulf Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company serves more than 430,000 customers in the surrounding regions of the gulf of Mexico. The company’s smart grid and advanced metering initiative began in 2008 [1, 2, 3]. The program utilizes Sensus FlexNet advanced metering infrastructure network that allows remote meter reading, 2-way communication between the company and its customers, outage detection and remote connects and disconnects [1, 2, 3, 4].
According to the company's smart meter website, Gulf Power is installing a system-wide upgrade for all Gulf Power customers, which expects to be complete in the next few years. This is part of a regional plan for all Southern Company affiliate customers in Northwest Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. The deployment of smart meters follows the affiliate companies of Southern Company that have installed more than 2 million meters in Alabama and Georgia. The benefits that the company expects from installing smart meters is the ability to read meters automatically without having someone physically travel to each meter. This will the time spent by an an employee to manually read the meters, reduce the number of trucks, therefore cutting emissions and saving fuel. In addition, it is expected that smart meters will help increase the accuracy rate of readings.