AMI Faqs

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What are the safety features of the advanced meters?
  • The new AMI Meters have temperature sensors on them that let the PUD know if they are overheating or are getting hot. This could be used to notify homeowners and possibly prevent fires or notify residents that a fire is near at meter.
  • The AMI Meters also communicate when there is power that is back feeding on to the lines, which helps protect our crews when they are out working on lines and restoring power.
What frequency do the meters transmit on?
  • Honeywell AMI Meters use radios that operate in the 900-MHz ISM band (which is the same frequency as the Automated Meter Reading or AMR meters that the PUD has been using for over 20 years) using Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology and they have a maximum transmit power of 1,000 milliwatts (mW). The radiation pattern of a device depends on the antenna and on surrounding objects. When installed in an electrical meter base, the energy radiated backwards through the meter base into the home would be significantly less due to the metal meter base.
  • The metal meter base reduces the energy transmitted into the residence and redirects the energy out the front of the meter. The signal sends and receives in the same fashion as an FM radio signal.
What is Lewis County PUD doing in the Meter Refresh program?
  • AMI was included in the District’s 10-Year Strategic Plan (PDF), which was approved in July 2020, with an estimated cost of $9.7 million.
  • In September 2021, the PUD released a Request for Proposals (21-05-RFP) to procure a vendor or contractor specializing in the supply and installation of AMI Meters throughout the District’s service area.
  • At a regular PUD Commissioners meeting in March 2022, the commissioners unanimously voted to award Elster Solutions, LLC, a Honeywell company, the bid for approximately $5 million.
  • Lewis County PUD is upgrading 100% of the meters in the District to Honeywell AMI advanced meters (a.k.a. smart meters or digital meters).
    The refresh includes software and hardware upgrades and all the meters will be connected to the PUD’s Customer Service, Billing, and Outages services.
Yes, but why is Lewis County PUD going with AMI Meters?

AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) meters—a.k.a. smart meters or digital meters—allow for two-way communication and operation between the meter and the PUD throughout the District’s service area and are an important part of a utility’s electronic infrastructure. AMI meters have many specific advantages over older digital and analog meters:

  • Advanced meters help us deliver electric services more efficiently and put our customers in greater control of their energy use.
  • Advanced meters provide faster outage detection and restoration without having to wait for you to call, and more accurately pinpoint the problem area for our crews.
  • Advanced meters reduce environmental impact by not having to send out employees to read meters saving thousands of miles of travel and carbon emissions.
  • Advanced meters allow customers to be remotely connected, disconnected, and reconnected which streamlines customer service and saves travel expenses for the PUD.
  • Advanced meters allow customers to sign up for energy alerts to let them know when energy use is greater than what they budgeted. This can help you detect if there is an issue with an appliance or equipment such as a hot water heater or a heat pump.
  • Advanced meters improve billing accuracy, eliminating misreads or inaccurate readings.

In short, AMI meter technology has proven its ability to add system reliability and save money.

Why is Lewis County PUD replacing its meters?
  • Lewis County PUD is constantly upgrading and improving its electrical distribution system to provide our customers the best and most reliable service available. The Meter Refresh Program is the next way we are improving our system. AMI will allow us to save money by reading the meters remotely and it will improve outage restoration times by sending alerts when you are out of power. It will also allow customers to better monitor their usage with up to the hour capabilities.
What is an Advanced Meter or Smart Meter?

An advanced meter is a digital device that collects energy-use information, measured in kilowatt hours, and sends that data to the utility. An advanced meter can also receive information back from the PUD. The information to and from the advanced meter is encrypted and sent through a secure wireless network. As of 2021, there were about 111 million advanced meters installed throughout the United States.Below are the types of Honeywell AMI Meters the PUD will be using:

  • Alpha 4 Residential
  • Alpha 4 Commercial Industrial

Honeywell is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, US and their AMI meters are made at their plant location in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

What kind of meters do we have now?
  • The District has a combination of traditional analog spinning disc meters, digital meters with no communications, and digital meters read from a remote handheld device.
How can advanced metering save me money?
  • You’ll be able to see your daily energy-use information, which helps you make more informed energy-related decisions. Knowing when you use the most electricity, and finding ways to reduce consumption, can help you reduce costs.
  • The new meters also provide efficiencies for the PUD, creating cost savings that can help stabilize rates. In the future, advanced metering will be able to tell us how much electricity is being used and where it’s going. This will help us better understand the power grid and more efficiently manage the distribution system.