What is Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)?
AMI uses state-of-the-art metering and communication technology to permit secure two-way remote communication with utility meters located at businesses and residences in the City. The two-way communication will be used to collect daily kilowatt-hour meter readings for billing, monitor system voltages, and provide power outage notifications. Overall, AMI will provide proactive customer service, improve system reliability, provide for power outage notification and management, and permit more efficient delivery of utility services.
What is an Advanced Meter?
Advanced meters use two way radio communications for the purpose of gathering meter readings for billing. Staff can also communicate with the meter to collect readings for move-ins, check power status, and perform disconnects and reconnects. The meters will also monitor system voltage and demand to aid in power outage identification and restoration efforts, and to proactively identify overloaded transformer and distribution circuits.
Is AMI a new technology?
No, AMI has been around for many years. About half of the electric customers in the US are served with AMI meters – that’s 71 million meters in use across the country. MPU has been pilot testing similar meters since 2015 with very positive results.
When will Advanced Meters be installed?
MPU will be installing initial test meters in March near the MPU office and the Dewey Street Substation. Beginning in July, an outside contractor will be working with several technicians from outside the community to install meters in the entire City. We plan to have all meters replaced by the end of 2019.
Will I be notified when the meter is being installed?
MPU will be sending notifications a few weeks prior to the anticipated replacement date. The technician, with appropriate uniform and identification, will knock on your door before replacing the meter. If no one answers, installation will still proceed. A door hanger will be left when the meter was successfully replaced. If we cannot access the meter, or if there is a safety concern found with the meter socket or service entrance, we will leave a door hanger and be in contact to make further arrangements.
What happens if a safety concern is found with the meter socket or service entrance?
During the meter replacement, our technician will carefully inspect your meter socket and service entrance for any damage or deterioration that can occur over time. Serious concerns, such as bad connections, will need to be addressed immediately by a licensed electrical contractor. Costs of any repairs are borne by the property owner. Other concerns such as loose meter sockets and loose service masts do not need to be fixed right away, but the homeowner will be sent a letter requesting repairs made within 30 days. The emphasis is on safety for both the occupant and the technician.
Will my service be interrupted during the meter replacement?
Normally the meter replacement does not require a power outage. If an outage is required, it will likely be less than 5 minutes.
How will Advanced Metering benefit me?
Some of the immediate benefits of AMI include:
- More accurate billing due to fewer estimates
- Reduced costs in labor and equipment for monthly reading and special readings
- Faster response to power outages and power restoration
- Quicker response to customer question on energy consumption
- Provides utility engineers real-time monitoring of system voltages, pressures, and flows on the utility system to identify deficiencies and over loads.
Some other long term benefits include:
- Distribution system automation
- Dynamic energy pricing
- Load management to optimize system peaks.
Once the system is fully deployed, customers will have access to more detailed information on their energy use patterns through an on-line customer service portal. More information will be provided when the website becomes operational.
Will Advance Metering cause an increase in my utility bills?
Energy usage is dependent on appliances used in your home and energy use habits. The AMI metering technology is the same as meters we have been using for the last 10 years. So no increase in electric consumption will result from use of Advanced Metering. Funding for the $3.1 million AMI project will come from budgeted cash reserves.
What if I don’t want an Advanced Meter?
MPU would request you contact us at the number below to discuss your concerns and options. We want to ensure you have the best possible information prior to making this decision. MPU does have a mechanism to allow customers to Opt Out of the Advanced Metering program, under certain circumstances. Customers choosing this option will forego all the benefits associated with this technology, including valuable usage information, and automatic outage notification.
There will be no initial charge for opting out of this program. However, there will be a monthly charge of $25.68 applied to your account in accordance with the Non-Standard Meter Service Schedule NSM-1 authorized by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. This charge reflects the operating costs incurred with manually reading meters.
If I have further questions about AMI, who can I contact?
We have general AMI information on our website at www.mpu.org/ami, or you can send your questions to , or you can call 920-683-4600.