Advanced Metering Frequently Asked Questions

Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) Project

What is the Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) Project? The Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) Project is a program created to enhance Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ (AMU) electric system. The old electric meters can only measure electricity consumption. The new electric meters with two-way digital communications are part of a system that:

  • Allows AMU to read your electric meters remotely;
  • measures the voltage being delivered to your home or business as an indicator of power quality;
  • provides customer usage history on an hourly basis upon request; and,
  • automatically detects power outages.

How will it benefit customers? The enhanced technology will allow the electric department to monitor power quality issues, including voltage variations and service interruptions at each location. This will provide AMU more information to identify and troubleshoot potential issues prior to the need to sending out a repair crew.

How will this help with restoring service during an outage? Often times, AMU will know instantly when power is lost to a meter. We will then be able to verify the extent of the outage and the possible source of the outage in a timelier manner. The new system will be another tool used by AMU to get your power restored as quickly as possible.

Do I have to be home for the installation? You do not need to be home for the installation, as long as we have safe and clear access to your meter. Due to the brief interruption in your electric service, you will need to reset your electronic devices, such as clocks and appliances.

How will I know when the electric meter at my home or business will be replaced? AMU will be sending a reminder letter approximately one week before we plan to be replacing meters in your area. If you have issues or questions regarding the interruption in your electric service, please contact our office at (712) 243-1395 and we will work to accommodate your needs for the date and time of the meter replacement.

How will it benefit Atlantic Municipal Utilities?

AMU’s electric and water systems will be enhanced by using technology that will ultimately anticipate and respond to system disturbances/outages. The technology will also provide tools necessary to manage demand and create efficiencies that will improve service. AMU’s Long Term Benefits

  • Reliability: When the electric and water meters are fully installed, we’ll be able to prevent many outages before they occur, and restore service faster when they do occur.
  • Convenience: Availability to read your meter without visiting your property monthly, but may need occasional access for routine maintenance.
  • Affordability: Long term, our investments in this technology will help us achieve efficiencies throughout the electrical and water infrastructure.

What are the Components of the System? Electric and Water Meters – The meters serve as the point of communication between customers and utilities providing accurate consumption data, outage information, as well as system engineering data.

How Does the Communication Infrastructure Work? The meters communicate to AMU digitally by using small, low powered radios to send the information securely to AMU’s office.

When will this project start? AMU began installing electric meters in October of 2013.

When will the project be completed? The Automated Meter Infrastructure Project is a long term, capital improvement project. By the end of 2014, we expect to have Phase 1, 2 and 3 of this multi-year project completed.

Will I be informed if there is a problem with my electric system or a water leak? The new system will allow the electric department to monitor power quality issues at each meter. This will give AMU more information to troubleshoot the meter prior to sending out a repair crew.

How will Atlantic Municipal Utilities use the information collected from the new meters? The meter automation project will provide accurate system consumption data that will greatly enhance our ability to design and efficiently operate our electric and water distribution system.

Security & Customer Privacy

What are we doing to protect customer information? Atlantic Municipal Utilities has always worked diligently to ensure the safety of customer data. We have a Cyber Security Plan which identifies the security measures that AMU is taking to guarantee customer data stays secure and private.

If there is a system failure, is there a back-up system in place? Yes. The new system will have redundancy measures in place.

If the system is hacked, what information can be obtained? The system and data within is encrypted at a near military grade encryption and in accordance with standards set forth by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Should the system ever be compromised, the only information accessible is energy consumption data. No personal information will be accessible.

Does AMU have the ability to view individual data? The new system will take hourly reads versus monthly reads of consumption information, which will provide more detailed consumption history to customers, as well as allow us to better manage our electric system and engineer and plan for future system improvements. However, we have no ability to know what is consuming the power.

How often will the meters transmit data? Current meters are read once a month for billing purposes. The new meters will be read every hour and we have the ability to get an instantaneous reading on request.

Didn’t see an answer you were looking for? Please call 712-243-1395