FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 27, 2008
Automated Meter Information System Coming to Plattsmouth Area Beginning November 3
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be installing new residential electric meters in four southeast Nebraska communities beginning Monday, November 3 as part of its new Automated Meter Information (AMI) system.
The communities of Plattsmouth, Nehawka, Murray, and Union will have the new system installed at residential locations.
This technological upgrade, also known as Two-Way Automated Communications System (TWACS), allows NPPD personnel to automatically read electric meters from service centers, providing a higher level of customer service. Installation of the new meters in these communities will be non-intrusive with NPPD contacting customers before changing out the meters. A short power outage to the residences will occur when the new meters are installed. Installation will be done by Greg’s Electric, working as a contractor to NPPD and identified with NPPD badges. NPPD anticipates that all residential meters in the four communities will be changed by the end the year.
Following installation of the meters, customer electric usage information will be electronically transported over power lines via a two-way communications system. Metering information will be picked up by a decoder at a substation, routed to a computerized processing center at NPPD headquarters in Columbus, and accessed by customer service personnel at their service centers and NPPD’s 24-hour Customer Call Center (1-877-ASK-NPPD).
“AMI is an enabling technology that could revolutionize the way NPPD and our customers interact. It will aid both the customer and the utility in resolving billing issues and determining remotely if there is an electrical outage at the business or residence,” explained Ed Wagner, Vice President of Customer Services. “AMI also enhances our customer service and provides cost savings. With this new system, any meter can be read on request to provide immediate service or to resolve billing issues.”
With the new meters, billing inquiries can be answered over the phone or at the counter at service centers with readings that are timely. Also, customer service representatives can address outage reports, quickly determine the source of the problem (whether it is on the utility side or on the customer’s equipment), and dispatch solutions promptly.
Don Peterson, NPPD’s AMI project manager, explained that the system reads the meter each day and readings can be used when customers move in and out of premises, rather than sending a technician to read the meter. Additional benefits to NPPD’s customers will include hourly usage reports upon request that will show how and when the customer is using energy.
“When a customer contacts NPPD with billing concerns, we can read the meter in a matter of minutes remotely and resolve the problem,” Peterson explained. The new meters will monitor voltage and alert NPPD to possible issues that could potentially cause an interruption of service.
Since the summer of 2007, NPPD has installed the new meters in the communities of Milford, Hay Springs, Clinton, Rushville, White Clay, Chadron, and Pine Ridge, S.D. A total of 68,500 meters are expected to be installed by the end of 2010 in NPPD retail service territory.
Information on the AMI system can be found at www.nppd.com/ami.