What is AMI?
After investing in nearly 33,500 AMI meters, Wheatland members have more control than ever over their energy use and electric bills.
In September 2015, Wheatland Electric began telling you, our members, about installing new Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) across our service territory. Fast forward 18 months and the process is all but complete. Our crews and operations staff have been busy installing nearly 33,500 meters. Your meter may look similar to the old one, but is much more sophisticated and offers many more advantages.
Reduced Meter Reading Costs
As a result of the AMI and Meter Data Management deployments, operational cost savings have been realized through automation of meter reading and member service activities.
The new AMI system provides Wheatland quicker notification of meter failures at both a communication and hardware level. Integrating the AMI system with Wheatland's member service software system has provided additional operational efficiencies and improved member service.
State of the Art Outage Management System
The AMI system has allowed for faster, more efficient outage detection and diagnosis, as well as reduced restoration times. System operators can ping meters to get a clearer picture of what is happening in the field and deploy restoration field crews more efficiently. In many cases, the AMI system identifies the outage, a crew is dispatched, and power is restored—all without any members calling to report the outage. In addition to these improvements, installation of these new meters has allowed members the ability to access their usage data down to the hour, on a daily basis through SmartHub. Accessing this data puts a wealth of information at the member’s fingertips, allowing them to make informed decisions about their energy usage and compare usage to previous days, months and years.
Make Informed Choices with SmartHub
Login to your online Wheatland Electric account and you'll notice a more powerful, efficient and streamlined experience designed to help you make smarter energy choices. By utilizing SmartHub technology, co-op members can now access these great benefits:
- View your electric usage data, down to the hour;
- See how temperature aff ects heating and cooling usage;
- Compare usage between months with temperature data;
- Set usage markers, thresholds and alerts;
- Receive bill reminders; and
- View Wheatland's social media feeds.
To access SmartHub from your desktop, simply click “Pay Bills” at the top right of our website at www.weci.net and login with your email address and password. Setting up a new online account is quick and simple, too.
You can also access SmartHub on the go by downloading the free mobile app on your Apple or Android device. Simply search for “smarthub” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
In-Home Energy Monitor
In addition to utilizing Wheatland’s SmartHub technology, members can also track their energy usage using an in-home energy monitor. The Rainforest Eagle Energy Gateway is a consumer energy monitor that connects to two-way advanced metering networks using the wireless ZigBee® Smart Energy Profile. By providing access to current energy use, historical data, energy pricing and alerts, the Eagle connects consumers to information necessary for successful energy efficiency programs. The Eagle is a pocket-sized device that connects wirelessly to your AMI meter to continuously report energy use and cost.
One Wheatland member in Great Bend, David Schraeder, is taking advantage of the technology and monitoring his energy usage. Schraeder uses the Eagle to get power use from his meter. “Right now, I have the Eagle logging my power usage every few minutes to a graphing system,” said Schraeder. I also have a custom skill on my Amazon Echo that I can ask for my power usage and it will give it to me.”
Schraeder has been using the Eagle for a couple of months and already sees the benefi ts: “I am more aware of how much power I am using and hopefully using that information to lower my usage,” said Schraeder.
Wheatland's new AMI system has brought with it a number of benefi ts for both the cooperative and you, our members. From improved operational efficiencies, to increased access to meter data for both members and Wheatland, the list of benefits will only continue to grow. Beyond that, as members like Schraeder have seen, by utilizing and leveraging our existing technology and infrastructure with other technologies available in the utility industry we can help give you access to even more tools and information. Access to more data and timely use information ultimately gives our members the information they need to make better decisions on how they use electricity.