Advanced Metering Technology FAQ
For several years, Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative has used automated meter reading (AMR) technology to help control the rising costs of meter reading. The technology allows a utility to read your meter from a distance without even entering your property. Our AMR system provides a number of benefits. It:
- Reduces the number of miles driven to collect meter readings.
- Reduces the time it takes to read meters.
- Reduces the need to open gates and access members' yards.
- Reduces safety hazard exposures for employees who have to deal with over-protective dogs or debris-strewn premises.
- Reduces errors that can occur in manual meter reading and data entry.
DVEC currently uses a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved encoder receiver transmitter (ERT) installed with the meter. The ERT securely transmits meter data when prompted by a proprietary hand-held computer. The hand-held computer is able to receive the secure signal data and store it in its internal memory. When the meter reader returns to the office, the meter reading data is transfered to our billing system, and bills are calculated based upon the obtained meter readings.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about AMR technology.
Has this technology been used before?
Yes. Meters equipped with radio modules is a proven technology being used by utilities throughout the world.
Can I still read my meter?
Yes. The cooperative’s AMR meters have a display that shows your total energy usage. You can find your usage by calculating the difference between two readings you obtain at different times.
Will you ever need to access my meter?
Yes. DVEC will need periodic access to verify readings and inspect, monitor and maintain the meter and other equipment on member’s premises, even though monthly access for meter reading will not be necessary.
Is my account information secure?
Yes. Personal information is not transmitted during the AMR process. Each ERT has a unique identification number that identifies its specific meter. The technology only transmits the meter reading and the meter number for the home or business. The information is matched to our customer database in our office in a secure setting.
Does the meter transmitter interfere with my cordless phone, television or other electronic devices?
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices. AMR devices transmit at a power level of less than one watt. The technology does not interfere with televisions, radios, stereo equipment, garage door openers, wireless Internet connections or other electronic devices commonly found in a home or a business.