Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology has been in place in the US since the 1990s. In fact, as of 2017 there were approximately 76 million AMI meters in operation across the country.
AMI uses the same technology currently used by radios, TVs, Wi-Fi, and even baby monitors to provide wireless communication between your home’s electric meter and Huntsville Utilities.
AMI allows Huntsville Utilities to reduce operational and maintenance costs by eliminating the need to send a truck to read your meter. It also improves meter reading accuracy–and the accuracy of your bill–as well as speed of service.
With AMI, we no longer have to access your property to read your meter (although we may need occasional access in order to make repairs, perform upgrades and inspections, etc.).
It will also provide you with daily usage information so you can have more control over your total energy costs. And if we notice a sudden, drastic increase in the amount of electricity your home is using, we can alert you to it (as it may indicate a problem with an appliance).
In case of a power outage, you won’t have to call us to report it. The AMI meter will automatically send us a report informing our line workers of the location and size of the outage, which will ultimately lead to faster power restoration.
Also, AMI helps Huntsville Utilities gather information to determine the needs for system improvements and analyses.
The wireless technology used by AMI only transmits the meter’s ID number and the amount of electricity used. It does not transmit a customer’s name, personal information, or how they use their electricity. This information is transmitted several times a day to a collection module in your area, which then relays the information to Huntsville Utilities via a fiber-optic or cellular network. It will also send an alert immediately to our dispatchers in case of an outage.
No. As stated previously, AMI technology has been in place in the US since the 1990’s and there are approximately 76 million AMI meters in operation across the country. Over the past 20 years, numerous studies have been conducted regarding their safety.
While some small segments of the population have expressed concern about the radio-frequency (RF) fields used for communication, these concerns are not well founded. The RF frequency used is the same as other common household devices (such as cordless phones, microwaves, and wireless routers) and the exposure is much lower (10,000 times lower than what is transmitted by a cellular phone). The advanced meters being installed by Huntsville Utilities comply fully with the RF safety standards adopted by the U.S. Government for wireless communication devices.
Time Of Use rates (TOU) is a rate structure plan some utilities use which charge customers a higher rate for electricity used during higher demand times of the day. While AMI meters are used by some utilities for this purpose, there are no current plans to require customers to switch to time-of-use rates, nor are there any such plans in the immediate future.
Rate changes by Huntsville Utilities require the approval of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Huntsville Utilities Boards of Directors, and the Huntsville City Council.
You will receive a postcard from Aclara, the company that is doing the AMI installation on behalf of Huntsville Utilities, shortly before your area is scheduled for meter swap out, and when they arrive to perform the work, they will be in vehicles clearly marking them as Huntsville Utilities contractors.
For more information, feel free to contact Huntsville Utilities at 256-535-1200.
You can also find information at the following sites:
Radio Frequency Safety, Federal Communication Commission – https://www.fcc.gov/general/radio-frequency-safety-0
Modernizing Electricity Deliver, EPA – https://www.epa.gov/energy/modernizing-electricity-delivery