Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meters installed throughout Cloverland Electric Cooperative’s service area, record and transmit meter readings and meter number to our office over the power lines. This data is used for billing purposes, power quality control and outage restoration. Unlike other electronic meters in use by other utilities, our meters do not use radio frequencies to transmit data nor are they capable of determining the energy use of individual appliances, electronics and other devices. They do not collect personal information.
The conversion to AMR meters is scheduled to be completed by December 2012 for residential accounts. Our commercial accounts will be completed in 2013. Cloverland has contracted with Kevin’s Meter Testing of Atlanta, MI, to deploy the AMR meters by substation. Kevin’s Meter Testing will leave a door hanger at the location to let member’s know the meter was changed. Members will need to reset electronic devices, such as a digital clock, due to a momentary power outage during the meter exchange.
AMR meters improve the efficiency of co-op operations. Since co-ops are member-owned, not-for-profit utilities, any money saved on operations ultimately benefits our member-owners. AMR meters are read remotely from our co-op offices—a savings of time, labor and money. A signal is transmitted from the co-op to a single meter or group of meters over the power lines. Within a few seconds, a reading is relayed to our office over the power lines. If the meter does not respond, we can quickly dispatch a line crew to the location and begin our restoration efforts.
Improved Member Service
Using the metering information and assessment software, member service representatives can better address energy use inquiries by providing information about power consumption, outage and blink-count history, and voltage information. If a member’s electric bill is higher than expected, the system is capable of delivering a daily, weekly or monthly breakdown of a member’s power use. There are no additional costs to the member for this enhanced service that AMR provides.
Using this advanced technology, the co-op can also detect if someone tampers with the meter.
Greater Billing Accuracy
For billing purposes, AMR meters are read daily and the data is transferred automatically into the billing system instead of manually as was the previous practice. This function significantly minimizes the potential for human error. AMR meters provide consistent billing periods, improved billing accuracy, and eliminate estimated bills.
Enhanced Power Quality
Since the AMR meter records any disruption of power, we are able to better track and locate the source of blinks in the system. Power quality tests can also be easily performed by conducting voltage checks. However, in the event of a power outage, members are still advised to contact us to inform us of the outage.