1. Objective and Background
1.1 About Vera
Vera Water and Power (Vera) is a public power and water utility located in Spokane Valley, WA. Vera serves roughly 9,000 water customers and 13,000 electric customers with the mission “to provide our customers the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost, while responsibly managing our resources, our employees, and our environment.”
The electric metering system for Vera Water and Power needs an upgrade to modern technology. The current electric metering system is based on a Power Line Carrier (PLC) system. This system utilizes the power lines to send signals from the meters back to the collectors at Vera’s four substations. This data is then transferred to a hosted 3rd party server.
There are 2 types of meters in the current system, a legacy PLC meter and the newer technology (circa 2017/2018) PLC meter. The older system has already been obsoleted and the newer system will be obsolete by the 3rd quarter of 2023. Neither technology will be supported after that time and no new meters of these types will be available.
1.2 General Requirements
Requirements for the new AMI system are as follows:
• Meter communication shall be radio frequency (RF) in nature on an unlicensed frequency band.
• Meter reads will be hosted by selected vendor and will communicate with collectors via cellular communication.
• Meters shall be capable of notifying operators of outages.
• Meter software must have load management and analytical tools.
• Meter software shall indicate communication issues with metering devices.
• All meters shall have remote disconnecting capability if available.
• Meters and communication devices made by same manufacturer (no 3rd party modules).
• The AMI system shall be compatible with Vera’s Customer Information System (CIS), SpryPoint and Esri ArcGIS software.
• The AMI software should be based on industry standards and include published, secure, open API’s for communication and integration. If the system does not have open API’s, the vendor needs to provide detailed information on how communication and integration with Vera’s CIS and ArcGIS system is achieved.
• The AMI system software should exist in a cloud service, platform, or other infrastructure owned or licensed by Vera (e.g. Software as a Service).
• Meters will have the ability to support prepayment option.
• Meters will have the ability to identify signs of tampering.
• The vendor will install and set up all the required software and communication equipment.
• The AMI system must have the ability to support water meter integration in the future.
• Azure Active Directory Single Sign-On should be used for all user authentication.
Estimated Proposed Meter Forms and Quantities
2S CL200 12,438
2S CL320 10
1.3 RFP Goal
The goal of this RFP is to find the best solution from one or more providers that will enable Vera it to satisfy its needs in an economically attractive manner. Vera’s needs are defined throughout the documents included in this RFP. Not all identified needs are critical needs, so it is acceptable to not comply with every requirement.
2. Response Requirements
Responses should be submitted via email to email@example.com.
2.2 Proposal Contents
Each Proposal must meet all the following to be considered for acceptance by Vera:
2.2.1 Outline the AMI vendor’s system for metering, network equipment, software, and all related equipment.
2.2.2 Provide information, if applicable, on sub-contractors included in the RFP, including meter installation, etc.
2.2.3 Specify and describe the ability to support prepayment and compatibility with other prepayment vendors.
2.2.4 The AMI software should be based on industry standards and include published, secure, open APIs for communication and integration. If the system does not have open APIs, the vendor needs to provide detailed information on how communication and integration is achieved.
2.2.5 Specify and describe deployments exclusively to SpryPoint and/or Esri ArcGIS.
2.2.6 Provide detailed breakdown by category of initial and recurring costs: Per unit cost of meters, costs of transmission and collection infrastructure, licensing costs, subscription costs, training, help and support cost and other.
2.2.7 Vera requests the AMI vendors to provide a demonstration of a functioning AMI system that does not exceed two hours in length. Please provide your availability to visit Vera between June 1 to June 9, 2023.
2.2.8 Availability and delivery schedule.
2.2.9 Describe training required for full utilization of the AMI system.
2.2.10 Versatility and projected lifespan of the proposed technology.
2.2.11 Brief description of water metering capabilities for potential future installation. Water metering is not within the scope of this RFP.
2.2.12 Provide access to review vendor API documentation.
Responses to this RFP are due on May 31st, 2023. Once the RFP responses are received, Vera may request a follow-up webinar.
3. RFP Process
Please ensure that you have responded to the requirements of the RFP and include comments within this document as needed, but especially if you are offering an alternative or projecting a future availability.
Please include your pricing in Excel format.
3.2 Proposal Analysis
Vera reserves the right to reject all proposals or to waive any RFP requirement. Vera will be the sole judges of the suitability of the solutions being proposed. This RFP does not commit Vera to award a contract and Vera reserves the right to withdraw the RFP and/or modify the RFP at any time.
Pricing must be comprehensive and complete, including the listing of any available discounts. Pricing information supplied with the response must be valid for at least 180 days from the response submission date. All pricing, including delivery and recurring fees, must be provided.
The following table outlines the estimated timeline of this RFP and Vera plans to adhere to the schedule below. However, the target dates are good faith estimates and are subject to change at any time by Vera.
Release of Request for Proposal April 17, 2023
Publish RFP in newspaper April 21 and April 28, 2023
Final Date for Submission of Questions May 17, 2023
Due Date to Submit Proposals May 31, 2023
Live Demonstration from Vendors June 1 – June 9, 2023
Selection of Vendor(s) June 16, 2023
Vera Board of Director’s Presentation of Vendor Selection July 12, 2023
3.5 Evaluation Criteria
Vera and its representatives will evaluate the proposals while considering the following factors:
• Bidder’s compliance with the requirements of the RFP
• Total price including life cycle costs
• Evaluation of bidder’s financial stability, references, quality and experience of the bidder’s project team, and similar system experience
• Applicability and availability of bidder’s product
Vera reserves the right to develop a shortlist of solution vendors for final consideration and evaluation. These shortlisted vendors may be requested to: 1) coordinate customer reference visits to locations of Vera’s choosing, 2) provide detailed presentations to Vera management staff at a Vera location, or 3) other similar efforts as deemed necessary by Vera.
Vera may conduct investigations to assist in the evaluation of the proposal and to establish the responsibility, qualifications, and financial ability of the vendor to do the work in accordance with the contract. The vendor shall assist Vera in obtaining information needed to satisfy this investigation.
Determination of the final evaluated cost of ownership shall include but not be limited to pricing, project coordination costs, operating costs, maintenance costs, warranties, contractual considerations, and payment schedules.
3.6 Respondent’s Costs
Vera is not liable for any costs incurred by any respondent prior to the execution of the Contract by all parties.
3.7 Written Questions and Answers
Questions must be submitted in writing prior to 5:00 p.m. PST on May 17, 2023 and may be directed via email to:
Dan Stokes at firstname.lastname@example.org
All questions received prior to the above date will be answered and replies sent to all parties.
3.8 Delivery and Implementation
3.8.1 Vendor must provide a schedule for system delivery and implementation. This schedule should include a high-level Gantt chart for all major tasks and key milestones.
3.8.2 Vendor should clearly define all roles and responsibilities that are expected for system implementation. This includes role descriptions for the vendor and Vera.