Advanced Meters

Replacing electric meters with advanced meters allows for the timely collection of usage data that will empower you to make energy-saving decisions in your daily use.

We are committed to providing our customers with industry-leading service and reliability. We want to give you the tools to manage your own energy use, as well as being notified about outages or upcoming system repairs – all through technology. 

Over the next few years, as part of our commitment, we are researching advanced meters. Our goal is to upgrade your meter and provide you with your own self-service “dashboard” capability to manage your account, just as you do with many of the other online accounts.

Advanced Metering Basics

Advanced Metering, also known as Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or sometimes called “smart meters,” is a safe and proven technology that is widely used across the US. More than 500 utilities across the nation already use this technology, with 50 million advanced meters installed at 43 percent of American households (Institute for Electric Innovation, 2014).

AMI is a building block for a more efficient electric system, often called the smart grid. It will provide many benefits to customers and greatly improve operational efficiencies. The meters will:

  • Empower customers to make energy-saving choices
  • Improve customer service and outage response
  • Reduce environmental impact

How Does Advanced Metering Work?

Advanced meters will connect to homes and businesses and will collect customer energy-use information. The meters will provide automated wireless communication between the meter and the utility. This means that:

  • Advanced meters record customer energy-use information throughout the day, just as today’s meters do.
  • Customer energy-use information is sent several times a day to us, using fiber or radio frequency waves. This is similar to the wireless communications used by cell phones and WiFi. The meters will transmit data for a maximum of 90 seconds per day.
  • Once it’s within our secure firewall, the information will be matched up with customer accounts for billing and other customer service activities.

Comparing Advanced Metering To Current Meters

Transitioning to advanced meters is a bit like upgrading to a smart phone from a land line phone—both technologies work, but the smart phone provides a better user experience and allows customers to stay even more connected to what matters to them.

Current meters

  • Are manually read by meter readers every month, creating opportunities for billing errors and estimations.
  • Require meter readers to drive more than 200,000 miles annually to record customer data. This creates vehicle fuel costs and produces pollution from vehicle trips.
  • Cannot alert the utility to power outages (Chelan PUD currently relies on customer phone calls to know when the power is out).
  • Do not have built-in safety features.

 

Advanced meters

  • Uses secure wireless communications to send energy-use information directly to us.
  • Enables customers to view their energy-use information daily. This can empower you to make energy- and money- saving choices.
  • Alerts us to power outages, enabling a faster outage response.
  • Creates more reliable customer billing. Advanced Metering reduces several manual processes, helping to ensure meters are read correctly and customers are billed accurately every time.
  • Provides added safety features like sensors that can detect increasing temperatures.