CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Appalachian Power plans to install new electric meters for its customers in the Charleston area. The installations are part of a routine service upgrade that will provide multiple benefits for customers.
Beginning March 16 and continuing through May, the company will install more than 50,000 Advanced Metering Infrastructure meters in the Charleston area.
The meters will take the place of radiofrequency meters that were installed beginning in 2005. The work is being completed by an authorized contractor. There is no charge to customers for the new AMI meters.
AMI meters will allow the company to read customer meters remotely. AEP Appalachian Power currently uses RF meters, which require an employee in a company vehicle to drive by a home or business to obtain meter readings.
The new AMI meters will combine radio frequency and cell phone technology to transmit meter readings directly to the company, eliminating the need for an employee to drive by the location.
The new meters provide other benefits including the physical electric service connections and disconnects for customer accounts, as well as some other service needs, can be accomplished remotely thereby speeding service for customers.
The new meters also allow Appalachian to more quickly detect when an outage occurs so it can more quickly dispatch a crew to restore power.
The meter change-out is relatively simple. Contract workers will be in the field to remove old meters and install the AMI meters. In a residential location, they will walk to the meter base, take photographs for documentation, remove the RF meter and plug in the new meter. Customers can expect a short power outage while the meters are switched. If customers are not at home during the replacement, they may find a blinking digital clock to reset when they return.
The contract installers will be wearing appropriate credentials and drive vehicles that are marked as Appalachian Power contractors. The workers will not ask to enter a customer’s house, nor will they ask the customer to come outside. If there is any doubt, a customer may call a company service representative at 800-982-4237 for verification.
The new meters have a small digital screen at the top of the meter face and a blue horizontal label about midway across the face. Appalachian has installed roughly 450,000 AMI meters since 2017.
For more information about AMI meters, please visit online www.appalachianpower.com/info/AMIDigitalMeters/