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1/27/2005
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Remote Electric-Service Shut-Offs Tested In Nevada

Nevada Power is deploying 2,500 advanced electricity meters around Las Vegas to see if they cut down on service runs by employees.

Nevada Power Co. is preparing to test advanced electricity meters that would enable it to remotely monitor electricity use or even disconnect service.

The utility company, a Sierra Pacific Resources subsidiary, has begun installing hardware from Elster Electricity LLC that is designed to make visits to homes and residential complexes far less frequent. Cutting visits should cut costs for Nevada Power.

About 1,000 of Elster's Rex meters are being deployed at a complex of apartments and condominiums in Las Vegas with a high rate of unit turnover. The meters will work with Elster's EnergyAxis, which the company describes as an automated, intelligent, two-way communication system. In theory, service starts and cancellations should be more predictable and prompt this way, compared with having to send a field worker to a residence.

The remaining 1,500 or so Rex meters will be attached to new homes being built north of the city. There, the emphasis will be on using the meters and EnergyAxis to perform remote meter readings.

All 2,500 of the meters are expected to be in place by the end of March.

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