Local Government Spotlight: Hillsboro, Oregon
Meter Matching Using Google Maps
Hillsboro, Oregon, used the Street View function in Google Maps to match meters with streetlights, traffic lights, pump stations, and other nonbuilding assets.
Goal: Improve the accuracy of the city's asset and utility records
Barrier: Difficulty managing large number of utility accounts and assets
Solution: Utilized Google Maps to match meters with corresponding assets
Outcome: By conducting virtual site visits to perform meter matching, the city reduced the number of in-person site visits, which freed up staff time for other priorities and increased the city's operational efficiency.
Hillsboro is the fifth largest city in Oregon with just over 100,000 residents and a building portfolio of 480,000 square feet.
Frequently the utility bill service address for non-building assets in Hillsboro's portfolio was an approximate location (e.g., an intersection). Using Google Maps Street View, the city was able to remotely zoom in on a specific location and visually inspect assets to identify corresponding meters. Keep in mind that, although this method can be a good proxy for in-person site visits, Google Maps Street View may not have the most up-to-date information. As a result, there may be changes to the property or asset that requires further verification.
In the example below, the city searched for the intersection attributed to the service address of an unmatched electric meter (Image 1). Once located, the analyst used Google Maps Street View to "walk around" the intersection in search of the electric meter. The exercise revealed that the electric meter in question was located on the northeastern corner of the intersection and serviced a city park located on the same corner (Image 2).
By conducting virtual site visits to perform meter matching, the city reduced the number of in-person site visits, which freed up staff time for other priorities and increased the city's operational efficiency.
Note: The information in this case study is based on primary research conducted in 2013. Learn more about the guide's research and development.
To learn more about meter matching and creating a central energy database, see Step 3.