New Meter Technology Will Benefit WKRECC Members

 

belwether truck
WKRECC has contracted with Bellwether Management Solutions to install the automated meters. Bellwether employees will carry photo identification and their vehicles will be clearly marked like the one above.

West Kentucky Rural Electric cooperative is pleased to announce a system-wide upgrade of our electric meters that will provide important benefits to our members. This upgrade is part of an overall effort to provide better service, improve reliability and help keep our electricity affordable.

Benefits include:

  • The new meters will set the stage for WKRECC to offer new and better services for members in the future, including the ability to more easily manage and control your energy use via online and mobile applications, energy saving programs and pre-pay.
  • The meters tell us when your power goes out so we can pinpoint the outage and restore electricity more quickly.
  • We will be able to collect meter reports more consistently, avoiding misreads and estimates.
  • The additional usage data provided by the automated meter will help resolve billing concerns more effectively.
  • Additional data will allow WKRECC to operate the electric distribution system more efficiently and help control future costs.

All WKRECC members will receive an upgraded meter. The project is expected to be complete by early 2017.

To learn more about this project, click through this site or call your cooperative at 1-877-495-7322.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an automated meter?

An automated meter provides wireless communication capabilities between your electric meter and WKRECC. Hourly kilowatt usage reports are transmitted from the meter back to WKRECC 4-6 times daily.

Automated meters will improve service, increase reliability and help keep power affordable for WKRECC members. For example, the meters will automatically notify WKRECC if your power goes out. These new meters will also help us resolve outages more quickly, since we know exactly which members are affected. Automated meter reading means fewer misreads and estimated bills for our members. And, automated meters will help WKRECC manage its power distribution system more efficiently, helping contain costs in the future.

Utilities across the nation have been installing automated meters for years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2014, U.S. electric utilities had about 58.5 million automated meters in place. Automated meters are also common in our area. Several neighboring utilities, including Jackson Purchase Energy, Mayfield Electric, and Gibson Electric Membership Corporation have already made the move to automated meters.

What’s the difference between the meters?

The new meters are automated electronic communication devices while the old meters were either a digital or electro-mechanical device with no communication capability. The new meters will continue to display the meter reading, but it will be in a digital LCD format.

Why are we changing?

The meter upgrade provides numerous benefits for WKRECC members and will help WKRECC manage its distribution system more efficiently. The meters also serve as a foundation for future enhancements, including a member portal where you can access information about your daily electricity use and a pre-pay program. Automated meters will:

  • Report and pinpoint the exact location of outages more quickly, meaning faster more efficient outage response.
  • Improve billing accuracy, eliminating misreads or inaccurate readings.
  • Effectively troubleshoot billing questions by providing information about individual power consumption patterns, outage and blink count history and voltage information.

How much is this going to cost?

There are no additional costs to the member to install the new system. WKRECC is investing in automated meters as part of a long-term strategy to improve operational efficiency and service. The meters are an investment for WKRECC, just like building a new substation or other infrastructure.

When will my meter be installed?

West Kentucky RECC will begin installing new digital meters for all members in July. The meter change-outs should be complete by early 2017. WKRECC’s automated phone system will call members a few days ahead of their scheduled installation. Do we have your current phone number on file? Call WKRECC at 1-877-495-7322 to update your account.

Do I need to be at home for installation?

No, there is no need for you to be at home when your new meter is installed.

Who is changing the meters?

West Kentucky Rural Electric will be working with Bellwether Management Solutions to complete the meter changes. Bellwether employees will carry photo identification and their vehicles will be clearly marked.

Will I lose electrical service?

Yes, your power will go off for a few minutes when the new meter is installed. You will need to reset electronic clocks and other devices.

Will my bill look different?

Following the installation, members will receive a bill with two readings: one for the old meter and one for the new meter. Future bills will show one read, just like they do now.

What if my bill reports more usage?

Contact WKRECC at 270-247-1321 or 1-877-495-7322 to discuss your billing concerns. The new electronic meters are more accurate than the digital or electro-mechanical devices they are replacing. The new meters have been tested and meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) regulations. The new meters also allow for accurate readings and a consistent billing period.

What does the meter record/report?

The new meter records an electronic kWh reading, the date and time of energy usage and the overall peak demand of the electric account. The meter will also record any reverse power flow and the number of times the meter experiences a loss of power for any reason. In fact, the meter will record the date and time of light blinks and the length of the power outage.

Do members have a choice?

This is a system-wide initiative to improve service and reduce costs. To see those benefits, new meters must be installed on all accounts. The new advanced meters will provide the platform for many new important benefits to our members. If you have further questions about AMI technology, we encourage you to contact us at (877) 495-7322.

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