BRISTOL, Va. — A new suite of home security and management services will soon be available to most BVU Authority consumers.
Quantum Home is the name of an array of services including security and monitoring systems, temperature, lighting and appliance management. Authority interim CEO Mike Bundy explained features of the new service Monday during the authority’s monthly board of directors meeting.
“This is an exciting new service that is actually in the market and we’ve already been selling it,” Bundy told the board. “Quantum Home is designed to compete with XFINITY Home. It will be not just home security but home automation. It’s cutting-edge technology.”
XFINITY is a service of BVU competitor Comcast.
BVU will work with two partners – 2GIG Technologies and Alarm.com – to offer services through its OptiNet fiber-optic technology.
The costs to consumers will range from about $200 up to $2,000 for the installation, Chief Financial Officer Stacey Pomrenke said.
“We will send someone out to itemize it and the consumer can decide what they want,” Pomrenke said. “The competition requires that be paid then. We are amortizing ours out over 12 months that could be added to the monthly bills.”
The monthly charges would range from $39.95 to $49.95.
“We know that this is not for all of our subscribers. There is only 2 percent of our subscriber base that might get this but our investment in this is zero up until the time we actually go to their house,” Pomrenke said.
BVU anticipates its profit margin will be more than 40 percent on these premium services, Pomrenke said.
In other matters, board members learned the utilities provider will spend about $132,000 in equipment to accommodate The Falls, but has no recourse to recoup that money if the commercial center fails to materialize.
BVU is preparing to order transformers and other components to provide power to the site near Interstate 81’s Exit 5 in December, but the city’s primary funding mechanism – millions in planned revenue bonds – won’t be assured until early 2014.
“To support the project at Exit 5, we’re going to have to issue some purchase orders in mid-to-late December, early January. In the original timeline there was no risk to that because the debt service for the project was going to get issued in November, so we would know the project was 100 percent a go,” Bundy said. “The issuance of the debt has been moved to January, which puts it behind the lead time required for us to purchase some stuff.”
Should The Falls not proceed, BVU could use some items but others would be too specialized and couldn’t be returned, Bundy said.
“My understanding is the city wasn’t taking on any of BVU’s risk,” Assistant City Manager Andrew Trivette said, in response to a question. “It’s not in our budget, never has been in our budget.”
Funds would come from BVU’s electric system capital budget and could be repaid from reserves should the bonds not materialize, board members agreed.