AMI Meter System
In 2013, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative installed digital AMI meters with a communications module manufactured by Sensus Corporation, based in Raleigh, NC. CHEC installed AMI meters to deliver better service, improve system reliability through better outage management and preventive maintenance. Along with the many efficiencies, the digital meters also assist our staff by allowing us to troubleshoot high-bill problems. The meters provide information about total power consumption patterns, outage and blink count history and voltage information. The system automatically notifies CHEC of outages, improving our response time for individual or isolated outages.
Here are some frequently asked questions about our meter system:
What data does CHEC collect from the meter?
CHEC meters are programmed to retrieve voltage and kilowatt-hour readings. The meters also notifies CHEC in the event of meter tampering, as well as pinpoint the location of outages more quickly, resulting in a faster response time. CHEC does not receive information from individual loads or appliances behind the meter.
Does CHEC control appliances with the member's home?
Although the Sensus Corporation meters are capable of controlling certain appliances within a customer’s home, CHEC has not installed this function at this time. If and when CHEC begins a load management program, only members who volunteer to participate will have this technology installed.
Is the metering network secure?
Yes. CHEC considers privacy and security a top priority. We treat each member’s personal information and data as confidential. The security controls CHEC has in place reflect energy industry best practices. They are designed to provide a very high level of assurance that our system cannot be compromised.
How do I know that my meter is measuring accurately?
All meters are tested at the manufacturer before they are installed. Accuracy results from testing have shown that digital meters are more accurate than analog or spinning dial meters. Meter accuracy is mandated by state and federal regulations.
How much radio frequency (RF) power is emitted from the meters?
The AMI meters emit a small amount of RF for a very small amount of time during a day. Generally speaking, there are a number of existing everyday environmental sources that produce much stronger RF fields than those of a smart metering system. RF energy produced by smart meters is not harmful and is comparable to cellular phone devices, wireless baby monitors, television broadcasts, garage door openers, microwave ovens, cordless home phones, and WiFi networks. In addition, because Sensus metering systems communicate over licensed spectrum, they are in complete compliance with FCC rules and regulations. The digital system emits less RF than the previous metering system.