Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Karnes Electric has replaced all electric meters in our system with new advanced digital meters. These upgrades provide our membership and the cooperative with countless benefits, and help us to serve you better.
Advanced Metering FAQs
What is Advanced Metering Infrastructure?
Advanced Metering Infrastructure refers to systems that measure and collect energy usage, and interact with electric meters on request or on a schedule.
What is different about the digital meters?
These digital meters work in combination with a communication network that provides two-way communication; both transmitting and receiving information recorded by the meter.
What information does the new meter record?
The new meters record energy usage, peak demand, energy used per hour, voltage, the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power and the date and time for each of these events.
What are the benefits of the updated digital meters?
Reliability – These meters allow us to expedite power restoration by quickly and accurately pinpointing outage locations. They also record power quality (such as blinks) so we can correct problems before they cause outages.
Efficiency – With these meters, Karnes Electric can both read, and in some cases, reconnect meters from the office. This technology reduces fleet mileage and expedites business processes. Better information on system demand and usage helps us distribute power more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Affordability – Operating more efficiently helps us reduce overall costs. The updated meters allow for daily usage data retrieval so members may be able to manage their own electric usage and costs.
Data Retrieval – In the future, members will have the opportunity to view daily usage data in electronic format from their home PC, tablet or smartphone.
How often will my meter record and transmit data?
Meter readings are transmitted back to the cooperative every four hours.
Does my account and usage information remain secure and confidential?
Karnes Electric has been protecting its members’ information for nearly 80 years. Our privacy policies prohibit us from releasing any confidential member information to unauthorized parties. The meter and associated communication system are equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access.
Do I have to pay for the updated digital meter or the installation?
No. Digital meters are a part of our normal cost to deliver the power you need. Reliability and efficiency improvements offset the cost of digital meters over conventional electromechanical meters.
Will my rate change after the updated meter is installed?
No. The rate that you are on prior to the installation of the updated meter will stay the same.
Will Karnes Electric personnel need access to the meter after it is installed?
Yes. We will need to do routine maintenance and inspection of the meter which will require access to the meter. We may also need access to the meter when restoring outages.
Are there any potential health impacts from a meter that can receive and send data?
No. Research conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council and others has revealed no health impacts from this type of meter. The radio frequencies emitted by the meter fall well below the maximum recommended in federal guidelines. Contrary to some misconceptions, the new meters emit radio frequencies (RF) only when responding to a request for data from the cooperative office or when the data is pushed out of the meter once every four hours, for less than a second. Compare this activity to a laptop with a wireless connection, which is constantly sending and retrieving data. A digital meter equipped to send and receive data has an RF density hundreds of times less than the RF density of a cell phones – and the meters are installed on the outside of your house not next to your ear.
Will the updated digital meters interfere with home equipment?
No. The radio frequency of these meters will not impact other equipment in the home.
Do I own the electric meter at my location?
No. The meter is owned by Karnes Electric.
Can the cooperative tell what appliances I am running inside my home?
No. Karnes Electric’s implementation of these meters does not include ZigBee®; a chip which would enable communication with in-home devices.
Do I still need to notify the co-op when my power is out?
Yes. When you have an outage or emergency situation, you are encouraged to call us. The new meters help us identify the extent of an outage and assist in verifying restoration.
Can the Cooperative remotely disconnect electric service using the new meters?
Yes. Some of the meters Karnes Electric installs will be remote disconnect/reconnect capable.
Additional questions? Concerns?
Please call us at 888-807-3952.