Advanced Meters

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is a metering system that provides near real-time communication between parts of our electric grid. The value of this technology relative to national security issues was codified in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which recognized it will make the grid better able to react to component failures, caused by natural disasters or acts of sabotage that can lead to widespread cascading power outages and blackouts.

The Benefits

Fast Data

Poudre Valley REA receives data from the AMI meters every hour. One of the benefits of receiving this data so often is to know when power outages occur. This allows PVREA to dispatch crews quickly, and know right where to send them.

Better Member Service

The AMI meters allow members and PVREA to look at a member's daily electric use. This helps us answer billing questions about high bills and troubleshoot problems. With the AMI meter technology, members can log into their account on SmartHub and view their electric use almost real-time, and report an outage that alerts our office within minutes. The meters also allow us to pinpoint outages, and can tell us if the outage is on the member side or cooperative side of the meter.

The Skeptics

Some people are skeptic for various reasons, whether it be health related or privacy concerns. 

Privacy Concerns

Some members are under the incorrect assumption that PVREA uses the AMI meters to give their energy use information to the government, to control them or to give to third parties. PVREA does not spy on members through AMI meters, or sell any energy use information to any third parties. The meter only registers the amount of energy used throughout the day, not how a member uses energy nor will it allow PVREA to control any aspect of a members' energy use.

Health Concerns

Some believe AMI meters have a harmful effect to our health from the RF emissions. These meters are safe. RF emissions produced by the meters are extremely small in comparison to many other commonly used devices (see reference chart below), and fall below emission standards set by the FCC. There is no factually known hazard to human health caused by AMI meters.

Comparison of RF Power Density in the Everyday Environment 

Device Relative Power Density in microwatts per square centimeter 

  • FM radio or TV broadcast station signal -- 0.005
  • AMI Meter at 10 feet -- 0.1
  • Cyber cafe (Wi-Fi) -- 10-20 
  • Laptop Computer -- 10-20 
  • Cell phone held up to head -- 30-10,000 
  • Walkie-Talkie at head -- 500-42,000 
  • Microwave oven, two inches from door -- 5,000

Additional Information Regarding Advanced Meters and RF Emissions

 

Watch a short video that illustrates the basics of AMI technology for members.