Automated Meter Reading
Automated Meter Reading And What It Means To You, Our Member
Craighead Electric Cooperative Corporation implemented an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) System in 2007 using the Cannon Automated Meter Reading Meter Module, which will allow all electric meters to be read remotely. This system required that we change-out every member’s electric meter.
The following questions and answers provide detailed information on the AMR project and its impact on you as a Craighead Electric member.
How much is this going to cost the member?
There will be no additional cost to the member to install the AMR System.
What is the difference between the AMR meter and an old Meter?
The new electric meters will operate electronically and the old meters operated mechanically. The new meters will continue to display the meter reading, but it will be in a digital LED form. The biggest difference is that the new AMR meters will have and electric circuit board module installed. The module receives and stores the kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption recorded by the electronics in the meter, and is able to transmit this and other data over the power lines to equipment located in its substation. From the substation, the data is communicated over telephone lines back to the Craighead Electric computer, which is located in the Jonesboro Office.
What information does the AMR meter record?
The AMR meter records an electronic kWh reading, the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power for any reason, or if the meter has rotated backwards.
What day of the month will the meters be read?
All Craighead Electric meters will be read every day to obtain a history of account information. For billing purposes, the member’s monthly billing cycle may change.
What does Billing Cycle change mean?
In order to utilize the capabilities of AMR, the date your bill will be due may change to one of three different cycle dates. Currently all customers are on cycle one, with the due date of the 22nd of each month. Cycle billing may move this date to another in order to equalize the billing and reading system.
Cycle 1 due on or about the 22nd of each month
Cycle 2 due on or about the 8th of each month
Cycle 3 due on or about the 15th of each month
How will Craighead Electric read the meters?
The Craighead Electric computer will dial-up the substation equipment via telephone line and tell the substation to request one or more meter readings. A readings request signal is then sent over the power lines, and the meter responds back with its meter reading. The entire process takes less than 20 seconds for a single meter reading.
Will someone other than Craighead Electric be able to read the AMR meters?
No. The computer runs software especially written for the Craighead Electric system. The substation communications equipment must be set-up by model and serial number and each meter must be added to the computer by its serial number and substation. Someone using a home computer will not be able to read an electric meter. Additionally, other electric companies with AMR systems will not be able to read Craighead Electric meters.
Will Craighead Electric stop reading meter using meter readers and rely solely on the AMR Meters?
Currently, it is planned that our meter readers will continue to read meters for approximately two months after a meter reading route is completely converted to AMR meters. This time frame will allow for system comparisons and insure accurate meter readings. After that two month period, no meter reader will visit your property again. Only Craighead Electric authorized personnel will service and check your meter and service connections.
Will Craighead Electric continue to do service inspections?
Routine inspections of all meters and services will continue in order to look for safety hazards, theft or other problems and to comply with Arkansas Public Service Commission requirements.
Will the AMR module notify Craighead Electric when the power goes out?
NO. Members will still need to call Craighead Electric to report a power outage. However; the area of outage can be determined by use of the AMR system once an outage is known.
Summary of the Cannon AMR Benefits:
- Fully automated, daily meter readings on all system meters
- Reduced meter reading costs
- Reduced intrusions on members
- Eliminates estimated billing due to unavailable meter readings
- On-request reads, save re-read costs
- More efficient outage restoration
- Tamper detection and energy theft reduction
- Reduced read-to-bill turn-around
- Ability to provide member more detailed information