AMI Digital MetersCarroll Electric Cooperative is investing in Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to improve the efficiency and reliability of our electric system. Digital meters (just one component of this technology) have the ability to:
- Help prevent outages
- Improve the ability to diagnose, dispatch, and promptly respond to outages
- Reduce operating costs associated with manually reading meters
- Transmit readings back to the Cooperative through the energized power lines
- Provide free personalized usage information which can help you track and reduce your energy consumption
Why are we changing to the automated meters?
The meter upgrade provides Carroll Electric members with numerous benefits. The Cooperative's new AMI meters will help
- Save money by greatly reducing the labor and transportation costs of in-person meter related trips.
- Improve billing accuracy by eliminating meter reading errors.
- Determine the location of outages more quickly, meaning faster response and restoration times.
- Resolve member problems with blinks, voltage, and usage issues.
- Improve system efficiency by optimizing equipment and reducing losses.
Do members have a choice in getting a new meter?
The new digital meters will be installed on all accounts. The Cooperative has embarked on a system-wide program that will change 100 percent of existing residential and commercial meters in order to acquire meter readings without the need to enter a member’s property and to gain the benefits mentioned above.
How much is this going to cost?
There will be no additional costs to the member to install the new AMI system. There is no rate increase anticipated in association with this project.
When will the new meter at my house be installed?
All residential meters will be installed by the end of 2012.
Who will be changing out the meters?
Carroll Electric Cooperative employees are installing all the new digital meters.
Will I lose electrical service during the installation?
Yes, for a few minutes.
How will the Cooperative read the meters?
The Cooperative’s computers communicate with equipment installed at the substation, which sends a signal over existing power lines to the digital meter. The meter responds by sending the meter reading back to the Cooperative via the same path. The digital meters being installed by Carroll Electric do not use radio frequencies to communicate. All communication to and from the meter is transmitted on existing power lines by using a secure embedded digital signal.
Will meter readers ever need to come to read the meter manually again once the new meter is in place?
Meter readers will continue to accurately read meters, including the new digital meters, until all meters and equipment have been fully installed and tested for each substation area. As areas of the system become fully deployed, all meter readings will be digitally transmitted back to the Cooperative headquarters without the assistance of meter readers. Inspections of all facilities including meters will be conducted periodically.
What information does the new meter record?
The new digital meter records kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage, the date and time of energy usage, the overall peak demand of the electric account, if the meter has rotated backwards, and the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power for any reason. The meter will also record the date and time of light blinks and the length of a power outage.
Are there any potential health impacts from a meter that can receive and send data?
No. Research conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council, and others has revealed no health impacts from AMI meters.
How secure will the new meters be?
The meter display is visible for members to be able to check their consumption. All other information and data stored in the meter is encrypted and secure and the meter is sealed.
Can the Cooperative disconnect electric service using the new meters?
Some meters may have remote disconnect capabilities.
Will the new meter notify the Cooperative when the power goes out?
The meters will be able to record outages, but they will not actually notify the Cooperative when the power goes out. Computer software at the Cooperative will be able to survey our distribution system and tell us which digital meters do not have power, but it will still be the responsibility of the member to report an outage for timely response and restoration.