Â“Saint John Energy has proactively taken an enterprise approach to GIS that has resulted in more efficient management processes and consistency throughout the company,Â” explained Eric Melanson, Atlantic Regional Manager. Â“They have successfully transitioned from a paper-based environment and have implemented key business applications built on GIS that automate and streamline their operations.Â”
Saint John Energy is an electric distribution utility that serves 36,000 customers in Saint John, New Brunswick. The companyÂ’s network consists of 13 substations and 84 feeders within its service area of 333 square kilometres. For six consecutive years, Saint John Energy was rated one of the top five utilities in Canada for its health and safety record in the less than 500 employee category as monitored by the Canadian Electricity Association.
In 2001, this utility embarked on an ambitious Enterprise Application Project (EAP) to implement three core technologies Â– management, customer and geographic information systems. The completion of this project resulted in a seamless transition from paper-based systems to an era of digital spatial data. As a first step, Saint John Energy worked with ESRI Canada to create a data collection tool that would enable them to survey their vast infrastructure, and within one year, they captured approximately 200,000 attributed sub-meter GPS locations. This data collection tool was used for everything from citing substations, assessing insurance claims, planning new infrastructure and locating existing underground infrastructure.
In 2006, Saint John Energy initiated a pilot project to implement Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems that detect when a meter has experienced an outage. Upon rollout of this project, AMI meter data was integrated with data from the Customer Information System (CIS) so that customer information could be accessed with the click of a button using ArcMap.
As part of their integration strategy from the EAP project, Saint John Energy recently selected Telvent Miner & MinerÂ’s Designer application to automate the generation of cost estimates and bills of materials. Designer automatically determines inventory that is required and performs a series of engineering calculations based on standard construction practices.
Â“Designer provides us with a streamlined information flow from the field through to our operations, engineering, finance and store departments,Â” explains Bob Bernard, GIS Administrator, Saint John Energy. Â“This will enable our field employees to perform their job more effectively while delivering a high quality and consistent level of service to our customers.Â”