Automated Meter Project

Automated Meter Project

AMI pilot project gets the okay
September 23, 2016

Greenville Utilities is starting a pilot program for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

GUC has been using automated meter reading (AMR) technology since 2004. With AMR, meters send usage information via radio signal to a computer on a truck as Meter Technicians drive by. With the new AMI system, we would have real-time, two-way communication between electric, gas, and water meters and our existing software (SCADA, Oracle, Responder, etc.). Information will be sent through a wireless network from the meters directly to our servers.

Benefits with the implementation of the new system are remote capabilities for service cut-ons and disconnects, meter tampering detections, and faster outage response and restoration times. There is even a web portal where customers can see their energy usage in real time and potentially be able to control their appliances from their phones. Replacing some customers' Beat-the-Peak load management devices is also part of this project.

The pilot program will begin later this year at a cost of about $120,000. It will cover two areas (one high-density with lots of homes, and one low-density with very few homes) with about 900 customers participating. If the program is successful, GUC could roll out AMI system-wide over the next several years as part of an effort to replace aging meters for electric, gas, and water.