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Smart Meters

Get Access to Your Daily Electricity Use

Our Advanced Metering Infrastructure system (AMI) helps bring the existing electric grid into the digital age. Smart Meters is the first step of a larger AEP Texas gridSMARTSM initiative. For you, this means a number of benefits: greater reliability, enhanced customer service, and innovative tools that will help you save money and energy.

Smart Meter Benefits

A Smart Meter is an electronic metering device that allows for advanced, two-way communication between us and your home . These advanced electric meters are equipped with wireless communications technology and will provide near real-time collection and secure transfer of your usage information. Smart Meters are a key part of establishing the smart electric grid of the future.

You'll enjoy the many benefits of this advanced technology, including:

  • Timely access of your electricity information

    You'll be able to view your daily use online so you can better understand your usage habits.

  • Improved reliability

    Smart Meters provide instant power outage notice to us so repairs can begin quickly

  • Reduction in service feels

    Greatly reduces connect and disconnect fees.

  • Expanded product options

    Ability to support new rate offerings from Retail Electric Providers (REPs), like real-time pricing and pre-paid electricity, as well as consumer in-home networks.

  • Greater privacy

    Smart Meters can be read remotely so meter readers no longer have to enter your property. We’ll still need occasional access for testing and maintenance.

How Smart Meters Work

The AMI program uses state-of-the-art meter technology that provides two-way communications between your new Smart Meter at your home or business and us using secure wireless network technology.

Smart Meters make it possible to 'talk' to us over a secure communications system. This exchange of information allows us to give you better service, such as the ability to provide instant power outage notice so that repairs can begin quickly and faster response to service requests like connections. Plus, you'll have timely information about your energy use so you can make decisions that can lower your bill.

Capabilities

Smart Meters transport us into a new era of energy delivery and enhanced customer service, including the ability to support:

  • Expanded product options

    Your Retail Electric Provider (REP) may offer new, innovative price plans such as time-of-use rates and pre-paid metering.

  • Home Area Network (HAN)

    You'll be able to remotely control 'smart' appliances like your thermostat at your home or business through the Internet.

  • In-home monitors

    These devices that may be sold at retailers or through your REP, will provide you with immediate feedback from your Smart Meter and REP, including your current and past electricity information.

Reading Your Meter

The meter face on your Smart Meter shows three separate rotating displays. Each display flashes for five seconds. The displays include:

  • Status of your electricity service - Is the power on or off? What does OPN and CLS means?
  • Cumulative electric usage - Used by your Retail Electric Provider in bill calculation.
  • Electric demand reading - A view for our operational use only.

New Digital Smart Meters

The Power Status Display tells you whether your electric service is on. You will see either:

  • OPN - This means your power is off.
  • CLS - This means your power is on.

Cumulative Electric Usage Display

The Cumulative Electric Usage Display shows your cumulative usage in kilowatt-hour (kWh) up to your current billing period. Your Retail Electric Provider uses this number to calculate your bill. You may also wish to refer to this number if you are keeping track of your kWh usage.

A kilowatt-hour is a unit of electrical consumption equal to the amount of electricity needed to burn ten, 100-watt light bulbs for one hour.

The Reference Number 1 is unique to the Cumulative Electric Usage Display. The meter number is a unique identifier for your meter.

Electric Demand Reading Display (For our operational use only)

The Electric Demand Reading Display is a kilowatt (kW) reading used by us. (It’s not used in billing calculations.)

A kilowatt is a unit of electrical consumption equal to 1,000 watts.

The Reference Number 21 is unique to the Electric Demand Reading Display. The meter number is a unique identifier for your meter.

FAQs

We are installing nearly 1,000,000 smart meters, known as its Advanced Metering Infrastructure system (AMI), across its 97,000-square-mile service territory in south and west Texas. AMI is a key component of our larger effort to upgrade our electric grid by leveraging the latest technologies. Smart Meters gives you greater control over their electric costs, help improve electric system reliability, and reduce carbon emissions through energy conservation.

Smart Meters are two-way communication devices with the potential to transform the way electricity is used. Get to know with these devices and their capabilities to take full advantage of them. Some answers to frequently asked questions are provided below.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or a smart meter, a digital electric meter equipped with wireless communications technology. Smart Meters are a key part of establishing the smart electric grid of the future. You will be able to better manage their use of energy, save money and reduce their impact on the environment with advanced meters.
In a time of rising energy prices, many states are requiring electric utility companies to provide more energy efficiency options. Smart Meters will encourage customers to think more about how and when electricity is used, which, in turn, will help meet current and future energy needs.
Smart Meters are equipped with wireless communications technology. This allows us to communicate with Smart Meters remotely so that certain service requests can be completed faster, such as meter reading, service connections, and outage notifications.
You can view their electricity usage online by registering at SmartMeterTexas.Com. Having access to more timely and detailed information about electricity usage will allow you to make informed energy use choices.
All communications equipment meets criteria set by the Federal Communications Commission and should not interfere with any equipment inside a home or business.
Yes. We are required to comply with all federal laws regarding the privacy, protection and disclosure of personal information. The meters and the associated communications system are encrypted and equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access.

Smart Meters use the same FCC-approved radio frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as baby monitors, portable phones, remote controlled toys and medical monitors.

Along with neighboring co-ops, we have used radio frequency meters for meter reading in rural areas for many years. The new Smart Meters are no different in terms of exposure to radio frequencies.

RF fields from Smart Meters have been studied and found to emit very low fields and then only intermittently. Any exposure to humans would be extremely small. There are no known adverse biological effects from these small fields. To provide some perspective, under typical operating conditions, an individual meter would transmit for approximately 45 minutes over a 20-year operating life. This should provide significantly less RF exposure than a single cellular phone call of the same length.

Advanced digital electric meters provide you and us with real-time use and price information which can be used to reduce energy bills. This is possible with wireless communication technology, which produces a very low radio frequency signal.

Electric customers will pay for the meters over time with a monthly surcharge on their electric bill. Customers will pay an average of $2.53 a month over an 11-year period. It is expected that the savings experienced on electric bills will help defray this cost.
Yes. Smart Meters have an easy-to-read digital display instead of a series of dials. Customers also can check their usage online at SmartMeterTexas.com.
After initial installation, meters will continue to be read in the traditional fashion for a period of time until the system is fully functional. Afterwards, Smart Meters will be read automatically so that meter readers no longer will have to enter your property every month. However, our employees will continue to need access to the meter for periodic safety and quality assurance inspections and maintenance.
Many companies are developing home area networks (HAN) technology, such as a home energy monitor, which allow a customer to remotely connect to and control automated digital devices or appliances in their home. In the future, a Smart Meter can integrate with the HAN so a customer can remotely turn equipment on or off to help conserve energy.
We can remotely monitor the activity of all Smart Meters in its service territory. If the meter is defective, the monitoring systems can determine if testing or replacement is needed.

Smart Meters are two-way communication devices that interact between your home and power companies. Their primary function is to provide greater reliability, privacy, and customer service. One of the biggest benefits to the customer is to provide consumption information that will enable the customer to monitor electric usage and conserve electricity.

In the future, Retail Electric Providers (REPs) may provide time-of-use rates and other offerings to give you more options and rate offerings. So far, no REP has proposed an interruptible power rate for customers who agree to have their power curtailed in consideration for a lower rate. If interruptible rates are offered in the future, it will only be with your consent.

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