AMR: Investing in the future of meter communications
In some circles it’s called smart metering. And Lake Country Power’s investment in automated meter reading technology is more about smart metering than it is about reading your meter.
We’ve invested in the system because it provides members many benefits, including:
- Reduced intrusion on members. The meters eliminate the need for members to read meters. We can read the meter remotely.
- The opportunity to analyze consumer usage information. We can help members understand power use and outage history.
- Improved billing accuracy.
- Verification of power quality and outage restoration with crews in the field.
Besides member convenience, we expect the new technology to also drive down costs.
The AMR project is projected to pay for itself in less than 10 years. We expect it will save on costs by:
- Helping member service personnel identify and replace faulty load management switches and radio receivers.
- Reducing follow-up work associated with incorrect or missing meter readings, meter reporting issues, meter theft and billing verification.
- Allowing the co-op to significantly reduce meter reading in the field and reallocate resources to better meet reliability needs and outage response.
AMR will also simplify billing questions. The meters store 150 days of your energy use. We’ll be able to help members identify usage issues and see where and when high power usage occurs.
The meters will help us verify outage reports and restoration. The meters communicate with substations. In an outage, technicians will be able to pinpoint problem areas and point crews in the right direction by checking through the AMR system. It’s expected AMR will help us verify the extent of outages and ultimately help to more efficiently find and fix problems.
As energy prices continue to climb, technology like AMR will play a key role in helping keep costs down, and enjoy a new age of system capability and improvement.