Since 2019, KEC has been conducting meter exchanges as part of a five-year plan to replace many of the meters in our service territory. We will notify you in advance if we plan to exchange your meter.
These meter exchanges occasionally bring up a couple of questions, such as: why is KEC changing out meters? What kind of meters is KEC installing?
KEC was an early adopter of automated metering technology, implementing it about 20 years ago, and this is our metering standard. Similar to computers and other technology, many of our meters have reached the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. It is more cost effective to replace the meters in batches, rather than to wait until an individual meter fails.
While the new meters are a different brand than the meters being replaced, they have the same fundamental metering functionality. The meters cannot monitor, see or control electrical equipment in a member’s home. KEC’s automated metering infrastructure sends signals across the power lines (not radio waves) to provide meter readings used for billing, to identify power outages and to provide hourly meter reading information for members. This system allowed KEC to eliminate labor and transportation costs associated with reading each meter every month.
Efficiencies and Cost Reduction
In addition, the ability to read meters from the office allows us to:
- Offer a prepaid billing option for members who choose to participate.
- Read a meter on demand, such as when an account needs to be transferred from one member to another.
- Read meters daily instead of only once a month.
- Provide frequent voltage and energy consumption information to engineering staff which enables them to ensure the KEC system has the capacity our members need.
Improved Outage Response
When power outages occur, KEC’s outage management system and automated meter infrastructure work together to identify outage locations and enable crews to get to outage locations faster. KEC’s dispatchers send signals to large numbers of meters to determine the scope of an outage, which is especially helpful during wind and snow storms when there are widespread problems. When repairs are complete, a signal can be sent to the meter to verify power has been restored.
KEC is committed to serving members through the effective use of technology. From improving reliability to increasing efficiency, lowering costs and enabling additional service and billing options, the automated metering infrastructure plays a large role in the way we serve you.