December 2015 Back Page — Electronic AMR Meters are Working Well!Posted: January 7, 2016
A major system upgrade to install electronic automated meters throughout each AVEC community ended in August when the last of the meters were installed in Bethel. AMR meters feature automated meter reading capabilities that modernize our in-house operations and reduce overhead costs. They operate at 900 mhz, similar to cell phones.
Benefits of this new system include improved customer service by minimizing the need to manually read your meter, the ability to remotely read your meter “on demand” to ensure it is working properly and address billing concerns more quickly and accurately, and integration with our computer software to share data and process billing more efficiently and accurately. The remote connect and disconnect features have provided substantial cost savings as AVEC no longer sends collectors out to the communities each summer. To increase your familiarity with these new meters, read the following frequently asked questions.
- How does AMR work?
Using wireless radio transmitters, AMR remotely reads members meters and transfers the data into the billing system.
- Will installing AMR raise the amount of my energy bill?
No. There is no service charge for installation, and your rates are not affected.
- Will AMR decrease my energy bill?
No, your new meter will not decrease the amount of your energy bill. However, in the future, the system will allow AVEC to offer you detailed energy use information so you can better manage your home’s electrical use.
- Is this new system really needed?
AVEC strives to provide members with the best possible customer service, high reliability and low rates. AMR technology helps us accomplish these goals. Plus, meters need to be replaced every 30 to 40 years, and most of our
meters were candidates for replacement.
- What information will be transmitted?
The only information transmitted are your meter readings, the meter identification number and diagnostic information to verify the meter is operating correctly. Meters also can notify us of a power outage.
- Is my account information secure?
Yes, only meter readings and meter numbers are transmitted. Personal member information is not transmitted.
- Will the AMR system interfere with my TV or radio?
No. The transmitting devices operate in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
- Will I see a change in my service now that AMR is installed?
The only significant change to your utility service is that meter readers no longer need to visit your property monthly to read the meter. Service personnel may visit the meter periodically to confirm proper operation or perform routine maintenance.
- Do I need to maintain the AMR meters?
No. AVEC is responsible for all maintenance. Do not tamper with the meter or attempt to make adjustments. The customer is responsible for their own meter base and must provide access to the meter base at all times. If you feel something is wrong with the equipment, please call (800) 478-1818.
All of us at AVEC wish you a warm, bright and merry Christmas season, and a healthy and fruitful new year!