AEC General Manager Stacey White

Arab Electric Cooperative has announced plans to install advanced metering equipment (AMI) as part of a technology upgrade aimed at improving energy management and controlling energy costs.

Automated meters have been ordered and the installation will begin at residences across the system in February.

The enhancement plan includes investment in new electrical systems, including software and hardware and the installation of advanced meters designed to improve reliability.

Currently we are working through installing network devices to help transmit the data back to Arab Electric.

Contractors will start installing the new meters next month. The contract company will have AEC logos clearly marked on each vehicle as well as paperwork showing they are contracted by AEC.

They will knock on each door prior to changing out current meter to new automated meter.

AEC also will begin soon working with businesses to schedule times to best accommodate meter exchanges so we don’t interrupt their normal business.

When the meters are changed out, you will experience a power outage that should last no longer than one minute.

Advanced meters use proven technology to provide Members with safe, reliable and affordable electricity.

While we are aware that the nation’s energy issues cannot be solved by any one strategy, our Members want to know that we are doing everything we can to provide reliable service and meet energy demands at affordable rates.

In implementing this plan, we are all working together to conserve resources, reduce costs and promote more choices for our Members.

The AEC board of trustees voted in November to approve the AMI project

The plan is to have all advanced meters installed and on line by the end of March. The project is costing about $2.5 million.

The advanced meters, which we plan to install at each Member location (residences and businesses) over the next three months, will give Arab Electric Cooperative the ability to remotely send and receive information and directions to the meter.

In addition to providing timely metering information, the system will also help identify the time and location of power outages.

When combined with additional future investments in technologies planned by Arab Electric, advanced meters can give our Members the information and options they need to manage their demand during times of high-energy use.

Advanced meters will help Arab Electric Cooperative continue to provide affordable energy and reliable service, while providing these additional improvements:

• Automatic meter readings;

• More accurate billing;

• Better power quality and reliability;

• Automatic outage notification;

• Lower power costs.

AEC will send out more information on the project in the coming weeks through Alabama Living magazine, The Arab Tribune, The Brindlee Mountain Advertiser, local radio stations and social media.

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