www.ameren.com

Smart Meters

Greater Energy Control

Customers with a smart meter will have an improvement in customer service and reliability and will also have access to other benefits, including the ability to view energy usage online and to participate in pricing options and programs to help control energy usage and costs.

Our smart meter is a digital meter that collects your energy use in fifteen minute and hourly increments. The smart meter and the network system work together to allow for two-way communication – the meter sends signals to Ameren Illinois and Ameren Illinois can communicate directly with the meter. The smart meter and other system upgrades will allow us to detect and isolate outages sooner and restore your service more promptly.

What Others Are Saying

Ameren Illinois’ aggressive plan to upgrade Illinois’ aging energy delivery infrastructure is working. Together we’re creating much-needed jobs across central and southern Illinois and customers are experiencing improved reliability.

As our skilled workforce continues to deploy new technology across Ameren Illinois’ 42,700 square-mile system - from advanced meters to smart switches and sensors - customers will benefit over time with new options and ways to control their energy usage and costs.

Michael T. Carrigan
President, Illinois AFL-CIO

Advanced meters are a part of the smart grid and Ameren Illinois’ overall energy delivery upgrades and improvements. Over time, all of these upgrades and new technologies will work together to provide consumers with more reliable service and new opportunities and options to better manage their energy usage and costs. As these technologies continue to advance, advanced meters will provide detailed energy usage information and will make it easier for customers to take an active role in controlling their energy usage. We’re very excited about the evolution of creative pricing program options such as Peak Time Rebate that will help customers save money and save energy.

Patrick Weaver
Director, Regional Energy Programs at Elevate Energy

Energy drives everything we do. By making continuous improvements to the electric delivery system, and making the grid smarter, energy will more efficiently reach customers and businesses, allowing them to take advantage of the many benefits of the advanced meter technology. Customers will be able to benefit with improved service reliability and access to better information they can use to take control of their energy usage and costs. Ameren Illinois’ plan is exactly what is needed to progressively move Illinois’ energy infrastructure forward to the 21st century.

Bryan Halloy
Energy Foundry

Our partner faith communities across Illinois share a common vision of caring for the Earth. Ameren Illinois’ work to improve the electric delivery system in Illinois is vital and necessary. Over time, new technologies and upgrades will enable members of our partner faith communities – and consumers across central and southern Illinois – to take a more active role in reducing their energy consumption. By conserving energy, we create healthier communities and protect the land, water and air that we all share.

Rev. Brian Sauder
Executive Director, Faith in Place

Together with Ameren Illinois, ISEIF, Elevate Energy, Citizens Utility Board, Faith in Place and Illinois Green Economy Network have forged creative partnerships within communities throughout southern and central Illinois to deliver educational workshops and events that will teach customers about the innovative customer tools, programs and incentives that advanced meters will bring over time, including more convenient avenues to view their own energy usage information.

Clare Butterfield
Program Director, Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF)

Resources 

Myths vs. Facts:  The Truth about Smart Meters

Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative

 

Radiofrequency Safety and Utility Smart Meters

IEEE, Committee on Man and Radiation

 

About Smart Meters

American Cancer Society

 

No Health Threat from Smart Meters

Klaus Bender, PE Director of Standards and Engineering Utilities Telecom Council

 

Please note: No representation is made by Ameren Illinois as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained within the links above.
In particular, some information may be incomplete, may contain errors or may be out of date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Installation

You will be contacted in advance of the meter upgrade which will be made by Ameren Illinois or Donco, our installation contractor.
About 60 days prior to the meter upgrade, you'll receive a letter informing you that either Ameren Illinois or Donco, our installation contractor, will be coming to your home or business to exchange the meter. Also, look for a reminder postcard from us about two to three weeks before we start upgrading meters in your neighborhood.
The meter upgrade will take less than 15 minutes to complete at your premise. Installers from Ameren Illinois or Donco, our installation contractor, will knock on your door to inform you that they are installing the device. Meter installers can be identified as Ameren employees or Ameren contractors by their ID badges and by Ameren or Donco on their vehicles. If you are not present during the upgrade, a door hanger will be left behind, notifying you that the upgrade took place and providing you with important information about the new meter.
Yes, for electric residential customers, brief electrical service interruption will occur during the first 10 to 15 minutes of the meter upgrade. Both residential and smaller commercial customers may need to reset any digital clocks on appliances and electronics. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For larger electric commercial installations, there is typically no service interruption and there is no service interruption when we upgrade the gas meter.
It depends on the type of meter used at the residence or business. Those with an analog meter, when the smart meter is installed, there will be no noticeable changes, and a meter reader will still be sent to their premise to gather monthly energy usage for a period of time after. However, this will change as Ameren continues to improve our network and starts to read energy usage remotely. Those with an automated meter that uses one-way communications, when the smart meter is installed, the meter reads will continue to be read wirelessly. In addition, we will let you know when new benefits become available following meter installation. To learn more, visit: www.AmerenIllinois.com/SmarterOptions. 
If we are unable to access the existing meter, we will leave behind a door hanger with information to contact Donco, our installation contractor, at 800.772.9354 to reschedule the meter upgrade appointment.
Ameren Illinois has a medical equipment registry, and all medical registry accounts are tagged at the meter to alert the installer. Please call our customer service number at 1-800-755-5000 if you would like an application for this registry or if you want to confirm your account is still registered. Also, if you are already in our medical registry, we will schedule an appointment with you to complete the meter upgrade.
If you have questions related to scheduling an appointment or meter installation, please call Donco, our installation contractor, at 1-800-772-9354. You can also call our customer service number at 800.755.5000 for any questions.

If you decide that you do not want a smart meter, you have the option to enroll in our Non Standard Metering (NSM) service. Unlike our Standard Metering service, which uses the smart meter to transmit your energy usage wirelessly to Ameren Illinois, the Non Standard Metering service will require a manual meter read. There are monthly fees to participate in the Non Standard Metering program and no additional charge for the smart meter. The NSM fees help cover the cost of monthly manual meter reads. If you decide NSM is the right choice and want to enroll, please call our Customer Service at 800.755.5000 to learn more about the fees.

Privacy & Security

Just like older meters, smarter meters collect energy usage data. Smart meters also collect additional operational data such as hourly usage data, voltage data, outage data and diagnostic flags to help us provide more reliable service to you. Smart meters do not collect, store or transmit personal identifying information such as names and addresses or social security numbers.
We use our customer’s energy usage and operational data for billing purposes and troubleshooting and resolving problems with equipment or services. In addition, customers can view hourly energy usages which can help better manage energy usage and costs, even on the go. Customers can create an online account, enroll in a demand response program, called Peak Time Rewards, sign up for alerts or purchase a Home Area Network. If Home Area Network is available to you, a link will be present on the Ameren app which can be downloaded from the app store on a smart mobile device. 
No. We treat personal information and data about our customers as confidential. You retain ownership of your own privacy data (including energy usage), and Ameren Illinois will not disclose that information to external parties without your permission, except for official Ameren Illinois business or as required by law.
We have extensive cybersecurity measures in place throughout the Advanced Metering Infrastructure network to secure and protect customer data. First, access to meters and usage data is controlled with authorization requirements. Second, information is secured at the meter and all the way back to our systems with advanced encryption. Third, we placed all pole-top network devices in locked and alarmed boxes to prevent unauthorized access. Fourth, data from the network must pass through firewalls and security components before reaching Ameren. Finally, all access to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure system is logged and recorded to alert us of unusual activity.

Wireless Communication

Our smart meters communicate using a low-power radio frequency (RF) signal. Radio frequency is another term for radio waves or wireless signals. This allows for the two-way wireless communication between Ameren and the meters through our next generation energy delivery system
Research and studies have been conducted on radio-frequency (RF) fields and health for several decades, and this body of research has been reviewed by many public health and regulatory agencies. None of these organizations have found that the RF signals from smart meters cause or contribute to any adverse health effects. In addition, the meter transmits RF for only a few minutes each hour at an extremely low signal strength level comparable to other home devices such as cordless phones or wireless baby monitors.
You probably have one or more commonly used household devices that transmit and receive data using radio frequency signals, including video game controllers, cell phones, televisions, computers, baby monitors, radios, security systems, garage door openers and Wi-Fi routers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), World Health Organization (WHO), American Cancer Society (ACS) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) consider smart meters safe.
The wireless signal from smart meters is weaker than that of most common household wireless devices. If other wireless devices in your home do not interfere with your medical device, it is extremely unlikely that a smart meter will interfere. However if you suspect interference, please let us know so we can investigate a solution. Also, the wireless signals from advanced meters comply with all Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for commonly used consumer wireless devices.
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