More Power to You: New meters coming soon!
We live in a technology era that is truly amazing, which makes it an exciting time to work in the energy industry.
Starting in late June, Rock Energy Cooperative will begin replacing our current Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system with a new one that requires the installation of different meters. The new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system will help us operate more efficiently, improve reliability, and serve you better.
We will begin the process by deploying about 600 new meters in the South Beloit area. Once completed, we will move on to full deployment. The entire process is scheduled to take about seven months. By the end of 2018 or early in 2019, we expect our new system will be fully operational.
The most electrifying part (pardon the pun) of the new system is the fact that we’ll be able to respond to outages more quickly because your meter will notify us as soon as you lose power. Most likely, Rock Energy will know you have lost power even before you do or, at least, at the same time.
You might ask why the new system is needed because your meter works just fine. The answer is simple: Technology is changing so rapidly that our current system is outdated and no longer supported by the manufacturer. Remember cassette tapes, 8 tracks, VCRs, and a host of other things? They were state-of-the art when introduced but now have been replaced by better, more advanced technology. The same thing is happening to your meter.
When the current meters were installed during the late 1990s in our Wisconsin territory and in 2009 in Illinois, they replaced the old mechanical meters that were either read by members themselves or by meter readers who were required to trek across our entire territory every month. Those mechanical meters were old workhorses, and the technology lasted many decades.
The first generation of digital meters, which you have now, transmit energy usage information over the power lines. That data is used for billing, but little else.
Your new meter will collect energy consumption and power quality data and then transmit that information to the co-op via radio frequency communication—a licensed, encrypted, secure system. Like I mentioned earlier, the new meter will let us know if you have a power outage. It also will report variances in voltage and other line conditions, so we can maintain a more reliable power distribution system.
If you want to learn more about our new system, I encourage you to read these frequently asked questions. We hope you share our excitement about this next step Rock Energy is taking in the technology era.