Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Over the past 20 years, URE has made substantial investments in infrastructure, building one of the most technologically advanced power control systems in Ohio. In 2014, the URE board of trustees approved an Advanced Metering Infrastructre (AMI) project to further strenghthen our distribution system and provide additional member benefits.
UREs AMI system uses two-way communications over a secure wireless network to provide members the latest in advanced metering technology. Upgrades were made at no additional cost to metered residential and commercial members. URE’s AMI meters read up-to-the-minute electric energy use information and allow customers to track their electricity use by the hour. Readings are transmitted remotely over the AMI network.
AMI meters offer unparalleled technology
AMI meters are approximately the same size as mechanical meters, but feature an LCD digital display showing how much energy has been used. Unlike traditional meters, which were read once a month manually by a meter reader, AMI meters transmit daily readings to the cooperative. Energy use and charges are in no way affected by the type of meter. URE owns the AMI meters, and they are part of our electrical distribution system. The meter base is still owned by the member.
Upgrades improve efficiency, service for members
- The automated system improves service for AMI meter members, as connects, re-connects and transfers of service are handled remotely and immediately.
- Reducing the number of trucks on the road also saves time and resources and helps contribute to cleaner air throughout our service area.
- The AMI meters may detect the loss of power during outages and send out an alert, allowing URE to quickly detect the location and restore power to members.
- URE receives detailed information on member electric use for billing purposes, and automation ensures accuracy. This data also helps us to allocate crews more efficiently and identify underused or overused transformers. It also helps URE quickly spot meter tampering and energy theft, reducing costs that must be passed on to the cooperative.
Members can register to view their electric energy use in hourly increments.
The project will include the installation of nearly 9,200 AMI meters and a meter data management (MDM) system that helps URE collect and analyze long-term use data to improve overall operation of our distribution grid. MDM imports and validates data, and then processes it for future billing and analysis.
URE selected National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) Meter Data Management system to support the company’s AMI initiatives. The groups will help URE comply with standards, conduct remote connects and manage AMI meter data. We have also implemented significant prevention methods and companywide cyber security standards to protect AMI and MDM data.
Benefits of AMI Meters
All Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters on the system can be read remotely at any time. Because the system uses two-way communications, URE can serve members more efficiently, saving time and resources by reducing the number of trucks on the road. The system may also detect the location of power outages more rapidly.
More efficient member service and support
- Improved handling of member accounts (i.e. connects, re-connects, service transfers)
- Hourly use data for billing and use inquiries
- Online presentation of daily and hourly use to interested members
- Fewer visits to the meter location
- High-level billing and meter read accuracy
Lower operating costs
- Lower costs for meter reading
- Fewer trucks on the road
- More detailed data to plan, construct and optimize URE’s distribution system
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters use the latest advanced metering and communications technologies. They transmit readings remotely over a private, secure wireless network, similar to a cell phone network. An AMI meter is approximately the same size as your previous mechanical meter and has an LCD digital display showing how much electric energy you have used. There are differences in how and when the meters are read. Standard meters are read once a month, manually by a meter reader. Readings from AMI meters will be transmitted daily to the cooperative, using a two-way communications network.
The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system will be able to:
- Collect daily meter reads
- Collect meter reads on demand (when a member discontinues service or to do a re-read when a member calls about a high bill)
All Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters on the system transmit meter automatic readings and can be read remotely at any time through two-way communications, Other benefits include:
- More efficient member service and support
- Improved handling of AMI meter member accounts (i.e. connects, re-connects, transfers of service)
- Daily and hourly energy use available online
- Faster detection of power outages
- Lower operating costs
- Greater meter read and billing accuracy
- Fewer trucks on the road and visits to the meter location
- Better data to plan, construct and optimize URE’s distribution system
It has a digital LCD screen and is read the same as a standard meter.
Your energy use and charges are not affected by the type of meter you have. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters have been tested in many environments, and all tests show very high success in meter read accuracy and response time.
No. The AMI meter is owned by URE. However, the meter base (or socket) that the meter fits into is owned by the member. Members are responsible for maintaining this equipment in good working order and for repairing or replacing it if it is damaged or unsafe. Because meters are an integral part of URE’s distribution system, they periodically need to be tested or upgraded to ensure safe, reliable service. At such times, including the installation of the new AMI system, URE has the right to access the meter to perform necessary work.
The accuracy of the test equipment used by the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter manufacturers, meter installer and URE's meter shop conforms to standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). All testing equipment is certified and tested annually.
No. A low-level licensed radio frequency is reserved for sending meter data to URE and will not interfere with electrical, radio equipment or personal electronic devices.
No. Member information will not be shared with any entity for marketing purposes.
Yes. Other utilities including the City of Marysville, have deplyed advanced meters.
Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) metering is a proven technology that is increasingly being adopted by utilities for the many benefits automated readings bring to members including:
- Enables us to increase electric service reliability and keep your electric bill as competitive as possible through cost savings
- Enables us to quickly spot meter tampering and energy theft, reducing costs that must be passed on to members
- Eliminates the monthly need for utility personnel to physically visit your property to read your meter
- Reduces the potential for human error in meter reading eliminates the need for estimating your bill during months that your meter may have been inaccessible for manual reads
- Can inform URE of a power outage, helping us get electric service back on more quickly
- Integrates with our current outage management system to share data and allocate crews more efficiently. Once service is restored after an outage, URE receives automatic verification. Please note: Still call us to report an outage or safety hazard like downed lines.
- Provides URE indications of voltage fluctuations so we can ensure acceptable levels of service
- Enables us to monitor the maximum demand at your home to ensure that the transformer feeding your home is adequately sized to accommodate your energy use. (Important when it’s 90 degrees outside and your air conditioner is running constantly to keep up with the demand).
- May enable URE to offer additional service and billing options in the future
URE has selected an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system developed by Cooper Metering Systems, a global provider of metering solutions for electric, gas, and water and heat utilities. Cooper's system uses a wireless fixed network operating on a licensed radio frequency spectrum to deliver meter reads and interval data daily from home and business meters.
URE owns and operates the system. Communications equipment, which operates much like a cell phone network, have been installed throughout the service district to enable two-way communication with the meters.
AMI meters allow us to closely manage our power distribution system because we have more accurate and timely data. For instance, URE is able to more accurately pinpoint excessive line losses, under- or over-utilized transformers and energy theft. During outages, URE operators are also able to access information from individual meters to determine the length, range and severity of outages and more accurately deploy outage restoration crews.