EPB completed construction of the fiber optic communications network in February of 2011. The network covers our entire 600 square mile service territory and is made up of nearly 8000 miles of fiber optics including transport, feeder and distribution lines customers' homes and businesses.
The Smart Grid has about 1200 IntelliRupter switches installed on EPBs' 12kv power distribution network, plus more than 200 smart switches on our 46kv transmission system. Using the fiber optic network to communicate, these switches work together to isolate problems and re-route power when there is an outage.
Because of the new sensors and controls on the electric system, EPB has access to billions of data points each year that will help us provide better service than ever. SGMS is custom software that was developed to help us manage and analyze this new data.
EPB has about 175,000 smart meters deployed. Smart Meters give customers the option to monitor and manage their electric power usage more closely, while providing EPB with key information about outages, voltage fluctuations and anomalies. Smart Meters also help EPB detect theft, and in some cases provide remote connect and disconnect operations.
The Smart Grid has reduced power outages by an average of 60%. Considering that power outages cost a community the size of Chattanooga about $100 million per year due to lost productivity, the Smart Grid saves the community about $60 million annually. Additionally, the Smart Grid has reduced the need for "truck rolls" to scout and troubleshoot faults. This has resulted in a reduction of 630,000 truck driving miles, and 4.7 million pounds of carbon emissions.