Norcross upgrading electric grid

NORCROSS -- The city of Norcross has plans to modernize its electric grid in order to "power 21st century economic growth."

By partnering with an electricity advocacy agency and an energy innovation company, the city will be able to offer faster response to power outages, access to more energy usage information, pre-payment options, online access to home energy usage and pattern information and automated meter reading.

In a city council meeting on Nov. 7, officials voted unanimously to move forward with the program, which is designed specifically for municipal utilities.

"The city of Norcross is proud to take this first step towards providing citizens more efficient, reliable and sustainable electricity," said Mayor Bucky Johnson.

"Digital technology, like smart phones and iPads, is driving energy demands and the need to provide better energy management tools," Johnson said. "We're excited to partner with Electric Cities of Georgia and GE Energy and look forward to continuing to work with them to deploy these innovative technologies. It's bringing the promise of active energy management to our citizens."

Partner ECG worked with GE to develop a program that allows users access to advanced energy management tools and hardware.

"The city of Norcross' electric department is a community-owned asset that has been an investment in the local economy for the past 38 years. With these grid modernization technologies, city officials are continuing excellent stewardship of a thriving community asset," said Walter West, executive vice president of ECG.

The city will begin the first phase of the new technology in spring 2012.

According to its website, ECG "provides economic and strategic services to community-owned utility systems that sell public power."

GE is an advanced technology, services and finance company "dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure."