Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI)
Board of Light & Power Invests in Advanced Meter Technology
Many people are now looking for ways to lower their energy use and save money. Some are buying more fuel-efficient vehicles. Others are investing in home improvements aimed at reducing energy costs, including installation of energy-efficient light bulbs which have almost completely dominated the market.
At the Board of Light & Power (BLP), we have actively pursued and encouraged energy savings for our customers through our energy efficiency and waste reduction programs. We are now implementing smart grid technology to modernize our existing electrical distribution system to meet increased demands for energy, reduce energy costs and facilitate increased use of renewable energy. This project includes the installation of an advanced meter at each customer location.
Advanced meters represent the next generation of electric meters and will replace all older analog meters still in use. They take advantage of two-way communication to enable the BLP to communicate with the electric meter at your home or business, enhancing reliability and providing additional capabilities. Remote communication and data transfer capabilities of these technologies enable remote meter-reading, outage notification, optional pricing programs, and alerts to help with troubleshooting and preventative maintenance.
Information coming from the meters will allow us to improve our efficiency during “peak” energy usage periods, which helps keep the cost of electricity lower. Modernizing our local distribution system will also promote better power quality and enable our utility to be more efficient when responding to outages, conducting maintenance or planning for new equipment. Instead of using outdated models or educated guesses, utility decisions can be made utilizing real-time information throughout the electric system. Advanced meters also increase the accuracy of electric bills, keep operating costs low, and allow us to diagnose billing problems sooner.
These installations pave the way toward eventually providing consumers greater access to real-time energy use information and offering more options for consumers to see savings on their electric bills.
Customers can be assured that the advanced meters are tested by manufacturers and that they meet stringent national standards for safety, security and privacy requirements.
The BLP will begin installing advanced meters in April 2020. Customers will receive letters notifying them that a new meter will be installed with a follow-up notification when BLP employees will be installing meters in their area. The installation and technology upgrades should be transparent and will not normally require any action by customers to complete the process.
We look forward to completing this project that will bring many benefits to our community. We have a vision for our energy future, and we look forward to working collaboratively on reaching that vision for a more efficient, secure and reliable local electric utility.