When did KEC begin using electronic meters?
In 2003, KEC implemented Aclara’s TWACS (Two Way Automated Communication System) with Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology and replaced every member’s mechanical meter with an electronic meter. This change allowed KEC to reduce costs by removing contract labor and monthly transportation expenses for reading each meter. Reducing costs allows KEC to limit the amount and number of rate increases to our members.
Does KEC have “smart meters?”
Yes. “Smart meter” is a term being used both in the media and utility industry which generally describes a meter that can automatically communicate the amount of use recorded at the meter back to the utility. Simply put, these meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the utility company. This is different from a meter which requires a manual reading every month by an employee or contractor for the utility.
Are all meters the same?
No. There are several types of meters being used by utilities across the country. Some utilize radio frequency technology and others use power line carrier technology for their communication path.
What meter technology does KEC utilize?
KEC’s AMR technology utilizes power lines for its communication path. This means the data exchange with the meters occurs over KEC’s infrastructure not via a radio frequency (RF). Communicating with meters in this manner benefits our members by providing timely, relevant electric use information and outage information while minimizing costs.
How does KEC know its meters are safe?
KEC’s vendor, Aclara, has verified their meters meet all emission requirements set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Aclara meters installed by KEC are tested to FCC Part 15 Class B standards. These emission standards are the same standards as required for Flat Screen TVs.
What is the benefit, if any, to having automated metering technology?
KEC believes its meters have many benefits to our members. First, hourly reads mean our members receive greater information about when they are using electricity. Since our members can view their use online, they can make educated choices based on how they use electricity. The communication download which occurs three times a day back to KEC only takes a couple of seconds to complete.
In addition to the benefits provided to KEC members, KEC as an organization also benefits from automated metering technology. These benefits include:
- Near instant meter readings for move in and out versus estimated bills.
- KEC’s outage response time quickens by pinpointing trouble areas.
Do all KEC members have to use these automated meters?
Yes. This AMR system is the only KEC metering methodology used and all members who receive electricity from KEC must use this methodology.
What about my privacy? Is KEC or the government spying on me with these meters?
No. The TWACS system automates the meter reading process. KEC’s meters can’t monitor, see or control electrical equipment in a member’s home. It collects readings of kilowatts used and sends those meter readings back to KEC.
Will KEC be controlling my appliances through my meter?
No. KEC does not take control of members’ appliances, including air conditioners, heat pumps or water heaters. Some utilities do have the capability of controlling a member’s appliances (load control) with a member’s permission. Typically, load control programs are structured so a utility pays a member for the ability to reduce a member’s load during those times when peaks are stressing the system. KEC has conducted a pilot program of this type, however, at this time it is no longer available to members. When offered, they are on a voluntary basis.
Are KEC’s meters accurate?
Yes. They’ve been proven to be as accurate, or more accurate, than a mechanical meter.