RM Power to install automated meter reading technology
Will allow meters to be read from a distance without accessing customers’ property
by Rocky Mountain Power
May 23, 2011
Rocky Mountain Power is improving service to more of its Wyoming customers with new automated electric meters. Beginning May 25, approximately 56,000 state-of-the-art meters will be installed on the homes and businesses of Wyoming customers in communities where the technology isn’t already being utilized. The meter installations are expected to be completed by the end of September.
The automated meters are equipped with a radio transmitter that will allow the meter to be read from a distance. Employees will no longer need to access customers’ property to read their meters in most cases. The need for estimated billing also will be eliminated, ensuring consistently accurate meter reads.
As company vehicles drive through an area, the meter number and usage data will be transmitted to a receiver in the vehicles and uploaded to Rocky Mountain Power’s billing system. For security, this information is encoded so it can only be read by the utility’s equipment.
"Automated meter reading is more efficient, accurate and cost-effective than traditional meter reading practices and is a proven technology that has been utilized successfully in other Wyoming communities and across the country," said Steven Broadhead, a Rocky Mountain Power field services manager based in Evanston. "This is part of our continuing effort to provide excellent customer service, increase efficiency in our operations and maintain our position as a low-cost electricity provider. It also reduces our need to access customers’ property and is safer for our employees."
Automated meters were already installed in several Wyoming communities between 2009-2010, including the Casper area, Glenrock, Douglas, Rock Springs and Green River.
Starting in the communities of Laramie, Buffalo and Midwest, on May 25, meter exchanges also will take place in Lovell, Greybull, Rawlins, Riverton, Lander, Worland, Thermopolis, Pinedale, Big Piney, Cody, Evanston, Kemmerer and surrounding communities served by Rocky Mountain Power.
"The technology is safe, secure and takes only a few minutes to install," said Broadhead. "Installers will knock on customers’ doors prior to exchanging their meter. There will be a brief power interruption during the meter installation, so customers will need to reset digital clocks and other electronics afterward."
The new meters have digital displays instead of dials, making it easier for customers to know how much electricity they are using. They will not interfere with any electronic or medical devices and will not transmit any personal information. Customers will not be charged to have a new automated meter installed.
Rocky Mountain Power has already installed more than 800,000 automated meters in Wyoming and Utah. They were initially utilized in areas with higher concentrations of customers, but are now being installed throughout Rocky Mountain Power’s service area in the two states.
Letters have or will be mailed to customers to notify them of their upcoming meter exchange and to provide information about the new automated meters.
Utility Partners of America is implementing the meter installations for Rocky Mountain Power and will be identified via employee badges and trucks stating "Utility Partners of America, a contractor for Rocky Mountain Power." In most cases, installers will be in an area for about two weeks.
For more information about their new meter, customers can call 1-800-221-7070 or visit www.rockymountainpower.net/amr.