AMI Project Information
After several years of exploring Automated Meter Reading, Cleveland Utilities implemented this system for our customers. Automated meter reading, or AMR, is the technology of remote collection of consumption and other data by the central office location for billing, troubleshooting, and further analysis.
Frequent Q & A
What is AMI?
New technology, called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) enables CU to remotely read meters resulting in operational efficiency, enhanced customer service, billing and power restoration, environmental benefits, as well as energy use. All existing customer meters were exchanged for new digital meters starting in the fall of 2010.
AMI is the acronym for this technology which was first introduced in the 1970's/ Previously known as "AMR" for Automated Meter Reading, the AMI system used operations similar to that of a cellular telephone. The communication device embedded in each meter (generally located outside the building) communicates with data collection equipment mounted on the utility poles at various points in a community. Communication between the AMI meter and data collection points is transferred over the 900 Mhz spectrum with an anticipated power output of .25 watts of power. The transfer of data gathered at various collection points is transmitted to CU via a communication infrastructure. AMI technology is sometimes referred to as smart meters.
Why did CU install AMI meters?
This new technology enables CU to remotely read meters resulting in operational efficiency, enhanced customer service, billing, and power restoration as well as environmental benefits.
Other benefits of the advanced meter include:
- The meter is digital, secure, and easier to read.
- Energy usage data collected remotely eliminates misreads and therefore reduces the number of estimated electrical usage.
- Power outages may be restored faster with greater meter communication capabilities.
- Meter readers no longer need access to your electric meter every month.
- Enables CU to offer time of use electric rates.
What does the meter look like?
The new AMI meter's exterior appearance looks similar to existing meters. The primary difference is customers who currently have mechanical meters with dials will notice no dials, but a new digital display instead. The AMI meter is secure and easier to read.
Does the communications system interfere with home equipment?
All communications equipment meets criteria set by the Federal Communications Commission and should not interfere with any equipment inside a home or business.
What type of information is being transmitted?
Only meter numbers, energy usage readings and diagnostic information is transmitted through encrypted signals. Personal data will not be transmitted so your information remains private and secure.
Are there any potential health concerns with the radio frequency (RF) signals?
Several studies have been conducted on low-power RF transmissions that AMI uses, but no negative health impacts have been found. The AMI system we are deploying meets all applicable FCC requirements. Under typical operating conditions, an individual meter on average would transmit 1.6 seconds every four hours.
If no one has to read the meter, does it still need to be accessible?
Yes, CU requires that reasonable access to equipment still must be maintained.