Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
About your new meter
Pedernales Electric Cooperative has begun installing new meters across parts of its service territory and aims to complete the installation over the next couple of years. The new advanced system enables the cooperative to enhance system reliability by detecting outages quicker and perform several functions remotely, such as reading meters and reconnecting or disconnecting power.
Other benefits from the new system include:
- Early power outage detection
- The advanced meter will let us know automatically when an outage occurs at a specific location, allowing for improved restoration time
- Increased service reliability
- Enhanced interval usage read data
- The improved level of usage detail for member analytics offers more timely usage reads
- AMI metering infrastructure will allow for new rate structures that provide members more control over their bills
- Reduced maintenance costs to the cooperative and our members
PEC has partnered with Allegiant Utility Services, a leading provider of meter and network services. Contractors from Allegiant will begin exchanging meters in May. If there is an issue at a location that prevents the contractors from installing the new meter, such as a locked gate or aggressive dog, a door hanger will be left with contact information for Allegiant. It is important to contact Allegiant to schedule a convenient time for them to return to replace the meter.
Should you have more questions, contact our Member Relations team Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by calling 888-554-4732.
Why is PEC changing to the new meters?
The new advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) has many new benefits, including:
- The ability to read all meters, residential and commercial, at a much more accurate and increased rate.
- Two-way communication with the meters will enhance PEC’s outage management system by more accurately determining outage locations.
- The new meters will report variances in voltage and other line conditions that will help PEC maintain a more reliable power distribution system.
- The new meters will allow PEC to offer members more timely information through our SmartHub app regarding their energy consumption, which will help members make wise decisions about how they use energy in their homes.
- Save money by eliminating the labor and transportation costs of in-person meter connects and disconnects – a savings we pass on to our members
- Pinpoint the exact location of outages more quickly, meaning a faster response time.
- Help secure the overall safety of the cooperative employee team.
How will this advanced meter benefit me?
The new meters will allow PEC to maintain a more reliable power distribution system by automatically detecting outages allowing for improved service restoration, reducing maintenance costs, and providing member energy consumption data in real time.
When will my meter be installed?
PEC employees and Allegiant Utility Services, the contractor hired by PEC, will perform the meter installations. All members should receive a letter, phone call, and/or email prior to installers being in your area. If you are requesting new service, or your old meter fails, you may get one of the new advanced digital meters. The meter replacement project will take place throughout most of the PEC service territory over the course of the next two years.
Will I lose electrical service during the installation?
Yes, from a few seconds to a few minutes. You will need to reset electronic clocks and other devices.
How does the advanced meter work?
PEC can read the meter remotely from our offices. Information from the meter is transmitted back to the co-op via a secure radio frequency system. These new meters also allow PEC to connect or disconnect meters remotely, meaning a service technician does not need to physically go to the location to remove or connect a meter.
What information does the meter record?
The new advanced meter records an electronic kWh reading, the date and time of energy usage, the overall peak demand of the electric account, whether the meter has rotated backwards, and the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power for any reason. In fact, the meter will record the date and time of light blinks and the length of the power outage. Its voltage monitoring ability will also aid our dispatchers in analyzing line conditions.
Will the new meter notify PEC when my power goes out?
Yes, the new meter can report outages and voltage variances, as well as other line conditions, without being prompted by our offices. This feature may improve service restoration time.
How will I know when my meter has been changed?
You may notice blinking time displays on items like your microwave or alarm clock. We try to minimize any inconvenience. You do not have to be present during the meter change. In the event of a circumstance such as a locked gate, pets in the yard, or an obstruction prevents the employee or contractor from exchanging your meter, a door hanger will be left notifying you of the attempt to change your meter. If you receive a notice, please follow the instructions on the card and contact our contractor, Allegiant Utility Services, as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made to switch your meter.
Who pays for the electricity to power the meter?
PEC does. The electricity used to power up the meter comes from PEC’s supply line side, so it is not recorded or charged to the member. Only the power that flows through the cooperative member’s side, or “load side,” of the meter is charged.
What type of radio frequency will the meter use and is it safe?
PEC is upgrading to a 450-470 MHz AMI system that will improve the quality of our meter readings. Our current technology has been in place since 1997 (24 years) and upgrading allows for better and faster readings as well as outage notifications and remote disconnect capabilities. The AMI meters transmit at a similar frequency as FM radio stations, airborne TV signals, and older cell phones, and are deemed safe by the FCC. The antenna that sends the signal is located at least 35 feet in the air on our distribution poles, keeping them well away from the public.