Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is the latest generation of metering which allows for two-way communication that provides both the utility and the consumer with meaningful data.
Beyond the traditional month-end billing read, the utility can leverage near real-time data to gain operational, financial, and customer service benefits. Some of these benefits include power outage notifications and restoration support, alternate rate offerings, and access to data that advances energy efficiency programs and engineering analytics.
Currently Scott Davis, meter technician, and Bernie Olshausen, engineering consultant, are analyzing drive data they collected across our service area to assess the performance of the CAT M1 cellular network. The existing cellular network is a practical means of communicating with our meters that circumvents the build out and maintenance of owning our own communications network.
It's no surprise that there are many areas across our service territory where the cellular coverage is inadequate for making a phone call or surfing the internet. The CAT M1 cellular network sacrifices data transmission speed and volume for extended coverage area. This network was specifically designed for transmitting small packets of data for industrial applications, like a meter reading.
Clarke Electric anticipates completing our performance evaluation and selecting a meter vendor by the end of the year. A contractor will be utilized to change out all our electric meters thereafter. Watch for project updates in our monthly newsletter.