Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meters installed throughout Cloverland Electric’s service area record and transmit meter readings and meter number to our office over the power lines. Data is used for billing purposes, power quality control and outage restoration. Unlike other electronic meters in use by other utilities, our meters do not use radio frequencies to transmit data nor are they capable of determining energy use of individual appliances, electronics and other devices. They do not collect personal information.
The conversion to AMR meters began in December 2012 for all legacy Edison residential accounts. The conversion for commercial accounts was completed in 2013. Cloverland worked with Kevin’s Meter Testing (Atlanta, MI) to deploy AMR meters by substation.
AMR meters improve efficiency of co-op operations. Since co-ops are member-owned, not-for-profit utilities, any money saved on operations ultimately benefits our member-owners. AMR meters are read remotely from co-op offices – a savings of time, labor and money. A signal is transmitted from the co-op to a single meter or group of meters over the power lines. Within a few seconds, a reading is relayed to our office. When a meter does not respond, we can quickly dispatch a line crew to the location and begin restoration efforts.
Improved Member Service
Using metering information and assessment software, member service representatives can better address energy use inquiries by providing information about power consumption, outage and blink-count history and voltage information. If a member’s electric bill is higher than expected, the system is capable of delivering a daily, weekly or monthly breakdown of power use. There are no additional costs to members for this enhanced service AMR technology provides. Using this advanced technology, the co-op can also detect if someone tampers with a meter.
Greater Billing Accuracy
For billing purposes, AMR meters are read daily and the data is transferred automatically into our billing system instead of previous manual practices. This function significantly minimizes the potential for human error. AMR meters provide consistent billing periods, improved billing accuracy and eliminate estimated bills.
Enhanced Power Quality
Since AMR meter records any disruption of power, we are able to better track and locate the source of blinks in the system. Power quality tests can also be easily performed by conducting voltage checks. However, in the event of a power outage, members are still advised to inform us of the outage and any other relevant details (such as a tree on the power line).