What does AMI mean?
Many people are familiar with AMR, or automatic meter reading, which allows electric systems to read meters from a remote location. Advanced Metering Infrastructure goes a step beyond remote meter reading because it allows two-way communication between the meter and the electric system.
What AMI system has Wheat Belt PPD chosen?
After an extensive review process, we have chosen the Cannon Technologies AMI system. The Cannon system is a power line carrier system, meaning that the AMI signal is sent over the same power lines through which you receive your power.
How does AMI work?
Using the power line carrier technology, Wheat Belt can transfer meter data and usage information from your home or business in about six to ten seconds without running any new cables or wires.
What are the specific benefits of AMI?
Here are just a few of the benefits made available through AMI technology:
- Improves electric service reliability
- Allows more respect for member privacy and property access - With this new system, the only time Wheat Belt PPD will need to physically be at your meter is if there is an electric service problem or when we perform the annual inspection of your electric service.
- Improves outage notification and management process
- Reduces response times and shorter outage times
- Provides additional metering data to better assist members with billing and service questions
- Eliminates costs associated with contract meter reading services
- Gives capability to provide members with valuable usage information such as consumption patterns, outage and blink count history and voltage information
- Improves meter reading accuracy and consistent billing periods - With an AMI system, meters can be automatically set to read the meters on the same day of each month. This, for example, eliminates a 27-day billing period one month and then a 35-day billing period the following month
- Reduces losses by identifying power theft and other problems
- Ensures better overall safety for Wheat Belt PPD employees
- Promotes energy efficiency by providing real-time customer feedback on energy usage patterns
What’s the difference in the way the new meter works?
The current electro-mechanical meters calculate consumption based on the number of times the inside disk rotates. These meters are read manually and that information is transferred to the billing department in a utility. The new meters are a digital electronic device that receive and store the kilowatt-hour and demand consumption, then transmits this and other data over the power lines to equipment located in its substation. From the substation, the information is sent to a computer at our headquarters office. The new meters will continue to display the meter reading, like the old meters, but it will be in a digital Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) format.
What specific information will the new meter provide?
It will record kWh readings, the number of times a loss of power has occurred, whether or not the meter has been tampered with, and the peak demand. It will also record the date and time the energy was used, if and when the lights blink and when and how long the power was off.
Can anyone other than Wheat Belt PPD read my AMI meter?
No. The AMI computer software is especially written for Wheat Belt PPD. The substation’s communications equipment is set up by meter model and serial number and each meter is added to the system by its serial number and substation location. No one using a home computer will be able to read your electric meter, nor will other electric companies with AMI systems be able to read your meter. However, members are still able to read the display on their meter. All other information and data is stored in the meter itself and is secured and sealed.
Will Wheat Belt PPD continue to do service inspections?
Routine annual inspections of all meters and services will continue in order to look for safety hazards, wear, theft or other problems.
Can Wheat Belt PPD disconnect the power using the AMI technology?
Yes, with the installation of a separate disconnect collar, the meters do have the capability of having a remote disconnect and load limiting capabilities. Some collars will be installed when necessary.
Will the AMI meter automatically notify Wheat Belt PPD when my power goes out?
No, the AMI meters operate on a polling basis and do not immediately notify the Wheat Belt PPD when an outage occurs. Once each day, our master computer will poll every meter to verify that it still has power. When you have an outage or emergency situation, you are encouraged to call us at 800-261-7114. The AMI meter will help us verify whether the problem is on the member’s side of the meter or with our service.
What do I do if my new meter records more kWh usage than I normally use? Or what if I think my meter is not working properly?
Contact a customer service representative at 1-800-261-7114 right away to discuss any billing concerns. In fact, electronic meters are much more accurate than the older analog or mechanical meters. The AMI meters have been tested and conform to all applicable standards and regulations