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Understanding Advanced Meters

Like all utilities across the country, NES is gradually switching from analog meters, which are no longer manufactured, to the latest technology – AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) meters. 

NES is committed to providing safe, reliable power and outstanding customer service. New technology upgrades, like AMI meters, improve your power reliability and help us better manage the energy load on our system.


Video Library: Get the Facts About AMI

                     

                   
                       

Benefits of AMI Meters

They save time. AMI technology allows meters to be read remotely so that meter readers do not have to drive to or enter a customer’s property each month. 

They are accurate. These meters are designed to help modernize the electric grid and provide higher billing accuracy. Instead of a meter reader entering your property to look at the numbers on a dial, the information is automatically and wirelessly sent to NES over a secure network.

 

They are informative. Customers can better understand their energy usage and how the weather affects their bill by knowing what days their usage peaked and when it’s the lowest.

 

They provide quicker service restoration. AMI meters automatically notify NES when power is out even before you report your outage. This allows for a faster response time and the ability to get your power back on sooner. If power is disconnected for non-payment, service can be reconnected remotely once payment is made without sending a truck.

 

They are better for the environment. Since advanced meters are read remotely from NES, fewer NES trucks are on the road which reduces pollution, fuel consumption and traffic.


Radio Frequency Facts

AMI meters use low-energy radio frequency (RF) waves to transmit information across distances and to allow for two-way communication between NES and our customers. AMI meters only transmit RF energy for a few minutes or less each day.

 

Radio frequency is used in many products that are part of daily life. The frequencies emitted by AMI meters are much lower than cell phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens, wireless laptops, radios, televisions, cordless phones and garage door openers.

 

In fact, the RF from an AMI meter is roughly one one-thousandth that of a typical cell phone, which means you would have to have an AMI meter for more than 1,000 years to get as much exposure to radio waves as a typical cell phone user gets in just one month.

 

In addition, the casing of the AMI meter, the exterior wall of your home and the distance from the meter all decrease the level of RF energy exposure.

 

See radio frequency levels of common devices compared to AMI meters.

All meters used by NES meet applicable safety standards. They have been approved by the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates radio frequency emissions nationally, and follow American National Standards Institute (ANSI) radio frequency standards.

 

In addition, the World Health Organization has concluded that no adverse health effects have been demonstrated as a result of exposure to low-level radio frequency such as produced by AMI meters.


Data Security

Just like analog meters, AMI meters collect how much electricity you use. The main difference is AMI meters remotely report the usage to NES daily rather than once a month. 

Because that electric consumption data is wirelessly transmitted, NES follows government and industry standards around data collection and system security. Protecting customer data is a top priority, and we continuously upgrade our systems and cyber security standards, including security protocols, encryption and passwords to protect against hacking.

 

Advanced meters measure how much energy you use, based on time of day, not how you use that energy. These meters cannot identify or control appliances within your home or business, and they cannot record or monitor household activity other than daily kilowatt hour usage. 


Fire Safety

AMI meters must meet safety requirements and standards spelled out in the National Electric Safety Code. NES meters, manufactured by Landis+Gyr, are UL certified and are considered safe and reliable. AMI meters should only be installed/uninstalled by NES meter technicians who are trained on standard safety precautions.

Improved Outage Response

Chances are, if you have an AMI meter and your power goes out, NES has already received an alert from the meter. During large-scale outages, NES can “ping” meters within an outage area to make sure power has been restored for all customers.

Common Questions

Is everyone getting a new meter? Yes. Over the next few years all NES customers will receive an AMI meter.

 

How will I know when the meter is going to be installed? You will be notified by mail before the switch out takes place with a specific date and time range. There will be a brief interruption of service (five minutes or less) during the meter exchange.

 

Will I be charged for the new meter? No. There is no cost to you to receive a new AMI meter.

 

Will the new meter affect my service or my bill? There will be no change to your electric service or how you are billed each month. AMI meters are beneficial because they provide very accurate energy usage data.

 

Are advanced meters the same as smart meters? Smart meters are a nickname for advanced metering infrastructure. We use the technical term advanced meters because they are an advancement in technology and a platform for future enhancements.

 

Do I have to have an advanced meter? AMI meters provide a platform for new technology and future benefits to our customers such as access to your daily energy usage data on your smart phone to help you better manage your consumption for lower bills. NES offers a temporary deferral option to allow customers to opt-out of receiving an AMI meter for a monthly fee. Customers can call NES Customer Relations at 615-736-6900 to request an AMI deferral form.