For years, Jones-Onslow has made adoption of new technology a part of a strategic effort to improve operational efficiency and maintain strong member service as long as the new technology made economic sense and was cost-effective.
After closely watching our industry and other electric utilities around us, JOEMC is in the early stages of implementing an advanced metering system that will continue to enhance those efforts.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is a metering and communication technology that enables two-way communications between the co-op’s offices and electric meters in the field. AMI provides many functions that were previously not possible or had to be performed manually.
Here are five reasons why we’ve decided to implement an AMI system:
- Save money by eliminating the labor and transportation costs of in-person meter reading and other services like connects and disconnects—savings we pass on to our consumer-members.
- Improve billing accuracy, eliminating misreads or inaccurate readings.
- Pinpoint the exact location of outages more quickly, meaning a faster response time.
- Help our consumer-members troubleshoot high-bill or service-related problems by providing information about power consumption patterns, outages and blink count history and voltage information.
- Help secure the overall safety of the cooperative employee team.
JOEMC has been following this technology for several years. As the cost of equipment came down and the reliability of the advanced electronic meters went up, the move to AMI at the co-op became more attractive. In examining all the facts and costs, it was clear that AMI will provide significant member benefits that make the investment worthwhile.
The cooperative does not expect any additional costs to its members to install the new system. There is also no rate increase anticipated in association with this project.
JOEMC consumer-members expect more from their cooperative and expect it to use technology to provide them with information about their power usage, outages, expected time of restoration and more. The AMI system will provide the co-op with immediate notification when a meter detects loss of service and it provides many features to assist in ensuring that service is restored.
The technology, which has proven itself to be safe and beneficial, is being adopted by many electric utilities across the country. Nationwide, 50 percent of all meters are AMI meters, and among electric cooperatives, more than 70 percent of all co-ops have deployed some type of AMI system.
If you are interested in reading more about the project, click here. On the page you will find updates on the project as well as Frequently Asked Questions and other related materials.