Did you know that outage prevention can start right at your meter? The next generation of home metering equipment works with a smarter grid to outsmart outages.
As part of our Modernization Action Plan (MAP), we'll be installing about 780,000 advanced electric meters in customer homes and businesses over the next six years. Advanced meters allow for fast, two-way electronic communication with Ameren Illinois.
What You Can Expect?
- More reliability - An advanced meter will alert us if your power goes out.
- More actual reads - Wireless meter reading offers billing consistency, reduces estimated billing.
- More convenience - We'll be able to turn on service without sending a utility worker to your home.
When Does It Start?
We are currently determining which customers will receive an advanced meter. Installation is slated to begin in mid-June 2014. By the end of the 10-year Modernization Action Plan, in 2021, about 62% of our customers will have these meters in their homes.
What Makes a Meter Advanced?
For decades, our customers have been served by traditional, analog meters that recorded cumulative electric usage. In order to calculate your monthly bill, utility workers had to physically travel to your home and read your meter. Or we had to estimate your usage.
From 2006-10, we replaced thousands of these old, mechanical meters with newer ones that allow for Automated Meter Reading, or AMR. Already, more than half of our gas and electric customers enjoy AMR. Their meters automatically collect and transmit usage information, using one-way communication. That means the meters can talk to us.
The next generation of meters is known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure or AMI. They allow for two-way communication. That means your new meters can "talk" to us electronically by sharing your energy usage and we can "talk" back electronically giving you improved reliability, billing, energy efficiency and service convenience.
As we focus forward, the advanced meters will someday provide you with timely information about your home energy use to help you use energy more wisely. Eventually, your advanced meter will give you access to your hourly energy usage through a web portal. The usage you currently have access to on AmerenIllinois.com is reflective of your monthly usage. Think about how the cell phone has evolved. It is more than a calling device. It is a mini computer. As the technical platform for the meters advances, customers will have more pricing choices and greater control over their energy use.
Privacy and Security
AMI is designed to effectively capture and transmit data, such as usage and voltage of the meter. Data collected will be used to:
- Bill customers for energy services.
- Help Ameren Illinois troubleshoot and resolve problems with equipment or services.
- Analyze rates and rate structures, and provide rate programs to better match customer needs and energy use.
- Enable customers to see usage data and assist customers in managing energy use.
Ameren Illinois is fundamentally committed to safeguarding your privacy. We treat personal information and other data about our customers as confidential, consistent with all legal and regulatory requirements. Advanced meters do not transmit customer account numbers, names or other personal identifying information. Data transmitted from advanced meters will be covered by the same rigorous privacy and security protections as other account information.