Types of Meters
Digital: One is digital, with numbers displayed in four or five windows. If you have this meter, you simply record the numbers. (For instance, in Figure 1, your reading would be 8304).
Dial: However, most meters are dial-type meters that have four or five clock-like faces numbered in clockwise and counter clockwise directions. (See Figure 2.) For these meters, you need to read the dials from right to left, according to the direction of the arrow. Follow these guidelines when reading the dials:
If the pointer is between two numbers, record the lowest number. (Unless it is 9 and 0, and then you should record the 9.)
If the pointer is directly on a number, look at the dial to the right. If the pointer is between 9 and 0, record the smaller number. If it is between 0 and 1, record the larger number.
After you have recorded the numbers for each dial, read them from left to right. (Our example reading would be 9079.) To determine your usage, subtract the previous reading from the current reading.
Smart Meters (AMI) – Smart Grid Technology to Better Serve Our Members
At The Energy Cooperative, we are constantly striving to provide greater value to our members. This involves exploring new sources of technology that will increase efficiency, provide better service and ultimately lower the cost of energy for members.
What started in 2004 as a project to investigate the benefits of Automatic Meter Reading, or AMR, has now evolved into a full implementation of a cooperative-wide Advanced Meter Infrastructure, or AMI. The decision to move towards AMI was driven by advancements in smart grid technologies. AMI “raises the bar” with regard to traditional Automatic Meter Reading in that it enables two-way communications with the meter, resulting in better service to members.
Todd Ware, President/CEO of The Energy Cooperative said that “While AMI technology requires a significant investment, much of that investment can be recouped through lower meter reading costs, faster outage detection, and improved member service.” Potter believes that efficiency plays a tremendous role in allowing the cooperative to operate leaner while providing better service.
Historically, electric meters have been read manually which required employees to move from house to house to take a visual read of the meter. This traditional method has consumed time, manpower and money. By installing the new AMI system on members’ homes, data gathered by the AMI system can be transmitted electronically over existing power lines and delivered daily to our substations where the information is collected and communicated through various means back to The Energy Cooperative office for processing.
How does it work? Simply: Power Line Carrier (PLC) Technology
Some of the benefits of the AMI system include:
• Once installed, employees are no longer required to routinely be on your property.
• Decreased manpower cost.
• Decreased fuel cost to travel to members homes.
• Decreased maintenance cost for fleet vehicles.
• Increased accuracy of readings for correct billing.
• Increased consistency in billing periods.
• Provides detailed data to energy advisors to assist members who may need to pinpoint and reduce high energy consumption.
• Serves as a troubleshooting tool for operations managers to locate and restore power outages quicker.
• Serves as a diagnostic tool for engineers to monitor demand and line loss.
Some of the future functionalities of the AMI system include:
• Brings smart grid technology right into members’ homes.
• In-home monitoring system will display a member’s daily kilowatt usage which can assist in conservation of energy.
• AMI can be integrated with a Prepaid System which will allow a member to decide how much energy they want to use and when they want to pay for it.
• Disconnects/Re-connects can be performed at the push of a button.