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On December 27, 2021, the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities (CBPU) officially deployed their last AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) electric meter to their system. It was a monumental day for the utility as this long-term project started in 2014.
AMI or “smart meters” have many benefits, but mainly they allow the utility and its customers to better manage their usage by providing access to real-time data. For example, customers can see their electric usage daily versus 30-day increments on a utility bill a month or two after use. Seeing this data allows customers to make real-time decisions regarding their electric usage and monthly financial budgeting. In addition, the AMI system serves as a tool to see peak load conditions and can be a great resource for energy efficiency opportunities.
Furthermore, the data collected from the AMI electric meters offer the CBPU the information to accurately size new and existing transformers. As a result, it allows circuit loads from the substations to be evaluated more accurately for future growth.
Another major accomplishment of the AMI meter project is a “next step” for the utility; outage management and notification. AMI electric meters serve as a preventative measure for power outages. When power outages occur, the AMI meters provide real-time reporting of the location and number of outages on the CBPU’s distribution system. In turn, the CBPU can efficiently focus on restoration in the areas most affected during a power outage. The utility is currently working with its Meter Data Management vendor on an Outage Notification and Mapping Solution and hopes to release it later this year.
CBPU customers are encouraged to register with Customer Connect to access their utility meter consumption data. For further information, contact the CBPU at (517) 279-9531.
CustomerConnect is a web-based data presentment tool that enables consumers to access and interpret their consumption patterns, which helps them to make smarter choices about resource use, reduce their bills and support utility conservation goals.