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AMI Questions & Answers

APRIL/MAY 2016 UPDATE

Yampa Valley Electric Association, (YVEA), completed phase I, or our pilot portion of our Advanced Metering Infrastructure, (AMI) project at the end of December 2015 with much success!

In April we will begin our next phase with deployment of AMI meters to our members on the West side of Steamboat, Milner and surrounding areas that receive power from our Airport Substation.

Next we will deploy meters to our members who reside in the downtown area, including Old Town, Brooklyn and Fairview that receive power from our Brooklyn Substation.  We will finish the summer of 2016 with deployment in South Routt – Keystone Substation, in order to reach meters that are sometimes not accessible during the winter. 

YVEA will host an Understanding AMI Education Session on April 13, 2016 from 5:30 to 6:30 at YVEA office located at 2211 Elk River Road, Steamboat.

Map of Deployment Areas

Questions and Answers about AMI:

What is AMI?

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an architecture for automated, two-way communication between an advanced meter and an electric utility company.  The goal of an AMI is to provide Yampa Valley Electric Cooperative, (YVEA) with real-time data about power consumption and allow customers to make informed choices about energy usage.

How will this system benefit co-op members?

AMI will improve reliability, enhance power quality monitoring and accelerate outage notification, which means quicker service restoration. With many existing meters reaching end of life, it makes sense to improve our meter reading systems.

Who is eligible to receive AMI service?

We will be installing new meters and associated equipment in the testing phase of the new system. After evaluating the results of the tests, new meters will be installed throughout the system in the upcoming years.

Do you need my permission to install this new meter at my residence?

The meter and equipment delivering electricity to our members is owned and maintained by YVEA. Even though we are permitted to access our equipment on our members’ property, we strive to be respectful and avoid inconvenience. If you have special concerns, we would ask that you let us know as soon as possible by contacting us at 970-879-1160.

Will I have to pay an additional fee for the AMI meter?

There is no additional charge for the installation and use of the AMI meter service.

Is there anything I should do before the AMI device is installed at my property? Possibly. To help make the meter exchange quick and efficient, you should make sure the area around your electric meter(s) is clear to give our technician ready access to the meter. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in removing any obstructions or barriers, such as overgrown shrubs, from around your meter. In fact, this should be done as soon as possible. We need clear access to your meter at all times, not just for the new meter installation.

What happens if my meter is not accessible?

If the meter is located inside of a locked area or an area that we will need your assistance to access, we will leave a door hanger advising you of this issue and request that you contact our office to schedule a convenient time for the change-out.

I have a generator that starts automatically when the power is off. What will happen during the meter exchange?

If the generator is installed to automatically transfer the power source, we would expect the generator to come on when the meter is removed. This should activate an automatic transfer switch that will isolate the customer’s generator from YVEA’s service. The same sensing device that indicated a loss of YVEA service and started the generator should detect that service has been restored, and after a few minutes, turn the generator off.

Will I still see meter readers in my area occasionally?

Yes. The use of AMI technology will not completely eliminate the need for traditional meter readers. We may, on occasion, still need to send employees to inspect meters and service other co-op equipment.

Who will install AMI and how will I be able to identify them?

AMI installation is being performed by YVEA staff and a designated YVEA contractor. All representatives will be driving vehicles marked with “Yampa Valley Electric Association” logos.  If you are not sure if persons in your area are part of our AMI deployment project, feel free to call us at 970-879-1160

How will I be notified that I will be receiving the new meter?

As a courtesy, the installer will knock on your door to inform you that your meter is being exchanged and that a brief electric interruption will result. You may need to reset your digital clocks on your electronic devices.

Will I need to be at home or at my business when you install the AMI device?

In most cases, you will not need to be at your home or business when the meter is exchanged. If no one is present, meter exchange technicians will either leave a door hanger at your premises, indicating that the meter was successfully exchanged, or they will advise you that an appointment is required to access the meter for the exchange. In most cases, business services will not be interrupted during normal business hours (e.g. 8 a.m. -5 p.m.) and we will schedule a convenient time to make the exchange.

Is my personal account information secure?

Yes. The AMI system does not interact with or transmit personal customer information. Also, measures have been put into place to ensure that no personal identification information will be located on our AMI data portal.

Will my new meter be accurate when it is installed?

Yes. Every AMI meter is checked for accuracy before it leaves the factory. This independent verification assures that YVEA meters are accurate.

Can you have a third-party test my AMI meter if I believe it is not accurate?

Yes. YVEA has third parties that will test a meter and provide both us and you the test results. This will be done according to our Service Rules and Regulations.

Will my new meter track or monitor individual appliances?

No, your new AMI meter will only monitor your power usage and will transmit the data in an encrypted format several times a day.

I have heard these meters put off electromagnetic fields (EMF) or radio waves (RF). Should I be concerned?

Wireless AMI meters result in much smaller levels of radio frequency (RF) exposure than many existing household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens. Research conducted by the FCC, the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council and others indicates these meters operate well within the limits considered safe for humans or animals.

The exposure from the new meters is much lower than other common sources for two reasons: 1) infrequent signal transmission, and 2) distance. On a daily basis, the cooperative’s meters will emit power for less than one minute a day.

In addition, these meters are typically placed outdoors, with a wall separating the meter from the living space. This combination of placement and infrequent operation means that you would need to be within one foot of 7,000 advanced meters all communicating at the same time to reach the FCC exposure limit. Members can rest assured our new metering equipment is safe for them and their families.

 

 

 

 

 

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