How to Read Your Meter
All of Access Energy Cooperative’s meters have a numeric display showing the number of kilowatt-hours the meter has recorded since it was installed. To determine your current usage, take the current reading and subtract the reading you recorded on a previous day. In most cases this will be your usage during that time period.
However, some of the new electronic meters have a multiplier on the right side of the faceplate. If your meter has a multiplier, you will need to multiply the reading you just calculated by this number.
For instance if you recorded a reading of 52,100 a month ago and your meter reading is currently 53,200, you would subtract the two to get a usage of 1,100 kWh. If, however, your meter has a multiplier of 20 the actual usage for the month would be 20 * 1100 or 22,000 kWh.
How Accurate Are our Meters?
At Access Energy Cooperative, all of our watt-hour meters must be accurate to within ±2% at full and light load. To verify meters are operating within these parameters, we test 10% of our meters each year.
With the installation of the Automated Meter Information (AMI) system, all of our meters have been replaced with electronic meters. These meters are more accurate than their old electro-mechanical counterpart and will also reduce meter reading costs.
If you feel your meter is not working properly you may request it be tested. An advance deposit is required prior to performing the meter test. If the meter is found to be within the ±2%, we will retain the deposit to cover the expenses of the meter test. If the meter is found to be registering outside the ±2% we will refund the deposit and review the account. It is best to discuss your questions with our Energy Advisor prior to having a test requested.
How to discuss with an energy advisor on whether or not you need to have your meter tested:
- Call our office at 319-385-1577 or toll free at 1-866-242-4232
- Request an energy audit or discussion with Energy Advisor
Automated Meter Information (AMI)
What is AMI?
Access Energy Cooperative employs a meter reading system called the Automated Meter Information System (AMI), which not only allows meters to be read remotely from the Mt. Pleasant office and reduces meter reading costs, but also detects power outages. This system automates our reading and billing procedure, reducing costs associated with these fixed facilities costs.
Our meter reading system automatically reads our members' meters every month from our Mt. Pleasant office. This not only makes our meter reading costs efficient, but also allows quick access to meter readings as needed.
Advantages to You
Since this system utilizes two-way communication, the meter not only talks to our Mt. Pleasant office, we are able to talk back to the meter. Having the ability to “talk” to the meter provides many opportunities for you and your cooperative.
One area of particular interest is in outage notification. During the unfortunate event of a large outage, when members call in to report their power out, the phone lines are normally very busy. The system will notify us if a meter is without power. We still recommend calling our office to report your outage, as with very large outages, the system can become overloaded. This quick system-wide identification system greatly improves our ability to dispatch crews to fix the problems. Once power is restored, the meter will verify services that are back on.
We can also monitor the number of blinks members may see. This data can then be used to direct maintenance crews to fix system issues before a total outage occurs.
We can use the AMI system to detect and prevent meter tampering and theft detection.
The data obtained from the meters is extremely beneficial in assisting members with questions on their usage and helping them to manage their electric bills far more efficiently. It also assists the cooperative with being able to evaluate the efficiency of our total system.
We are continuing to explore this technology and evolve to meet the needs of our members. Future plans include verifying member peak demands to ensure proper transformer sizing.