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An advanced metering infrastructure, or AMI, is a comprehensive, integrated collection of devices, communication network, computer systems, protocols and organizational processes dedicated to managing highly accurate data about energy consumption for use by the utility and the customer. One component of this infrastructure is digital meters. Johnson County REMC implemented a system-wide installation of updated digital meters in January 2015. Below are some questions and answers about these meters and the project.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is different about the updated digital meters?
These digital meters work in combination with a communication network that provides two-way communication, both transmitting and receiving information recorded by the meter.
Why is Johnson County REMC doing this?
To improve the reliability and efficiency of the existing electric distribution system, and offer greater choice to members in terms of rate structure and payment options.
What are the benefits of the updated digital meters?
• Reliability – These meters allow us to expedite power restoration by quickly and accurately pinpointing outage locations. They also record power quality (such as blinks) so we can correct problems before they cause outages. Your cooperative can retrieve information from your meter in seconds, instead of – with our older digital meter system – in minutes.
• Efficiency – With these meters Johnson County REMC can both read and reconnect meters from the office. This technology reduces fleet mileage and expedites business processes. Better information on system demand and usage helps us distribute power more efficiently and cost-effectively.
• Affordability – Operating more efficiently helps us reduce overall costs. The updated meters allow for daily usage data retrieval so members may better understand and manage their own electric usage and costs.
• Data Retrieval – These meters will provide members the opportunity to view daily usage data in electronic format from their home PC, tablet or smart phone.
Does my account and usage information remain secure and confidential?
Yes. All account information is protected by an encryption process similar to what financial institutions use to communicate with ATM machines.
Do I have to pay for the updated digital meter or the installation?
No. Digital meters are a part of our normal cost to deliver the power you need. Reliability and efficiency improvements offset the cost of digital meters over conventional electromechanical meters.
Will my rate change after the updated meter is installed?
No. The rate that you are on prior to the installation of the updated meter will stay the same. The updated meters also allow REMC to offer time-of-use and pre-pay rate options.
Will I lose electrical service during the installation?
Installing your updated digital meter should only take a few minutes. You may experience a brief interruption of power during this time. You do not need to be present for us to change the meter.
Are there any potential health impacts from a meter that can receive and send data?
No. The communication system that is used for the updated digital meters is the same technology that has been used to collect your meter reading for the past decade.
Where can I access my electricity usage information?
Members can access their electric usage information via SmartHub, the co-op’s online account management portal using a PC, tablet computer, or Smartphone.