Access Energy Cooperative has completed the installation of our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. All meters except those served by our Russell Substation have been replaced with a new meter which allows a computer in our office to remotely read members’ meters.
The new system does far more than read meters!!!
Since we have two-way communication with our meters we can monitor the number of blinks members may see. This data can then be used to direct maintenance crews to fix system issues before a total outage occurs. We can also detect outages on remote services before members are even aware they are out. Outage times are reduced using the system to because we can detect services that are out. Then, once power is restored we can use the AMI system to verify whose power is restored and direct crews to other problem areas. This greatly reduces the amount of time crews have to spend driving to verify who is back on.
We are also using the AMI system to detect and prevent meter tampering and theft detection. The data obtained from the meters is extremely beneficial in assisting members with questions on their usage and helping them to manage their electric bills far more efficienctly. It also assists the cooperative with being able to evaluate the efficiency of our own system.
Future plans include verifying member peak demands to ensure proper transformer sizing, installation of remote connect/disconnect on selected member accounts, and even more consumer education on saving energy. Thanks to the AMI system we have been able reducing costs, improving service reliability and reducing outage times.