Advanced Metering Infrastructure

Advanced metering infrastructure

Three features comprise the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system: “smart” meters, a two-way communications network and the information technology systems to support their interaction. AMI uses internal communications systems to convey real-time energy use and load information to both the utility and to the customer.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Source: EPRI for source image
In-Home Display
In-Home Display
Source: Ampy Metering

AMI’s smart meters and communications capabilities, combined with special rate plans, allow customers to better understand their energy consumption and, by responding to various pricing signals, to potentially reduce their electricity bills.

AMI provides the capability to monitor equipment and can quickly convey information about certain malfunctions and operating conditions. It also facilitates customers’ ability to achieve the full array of benefits that can be realized by certain customer-owned advanced technologies and appliances.

AEP involvement

AEP will install smart meters for all customers by 2015, pending regulatory approvals in states where AEP operates. AEP Texas began its five-year smart meter installation program in late 2009.

AEP Ohio has begun a scale deployment of gridSMART® technologies. The project involves approximately 110,000 customers in an area of approximately 100 square miles. It includes Advanced Meter Infrastructure and Distribution Grid Management technologies.

Integrated Smart Grid
Integrated Smart Grid

In addition, AEP’s I&M affiliate deployed a one-year smart metering pilot project on four circuits in the South Bend, Indiana area.

The pilot will involve several AMI-facilitated options including direct load control, time-of-use rates and pre-pay metering. The pilot also will include installation of distribution automation technologies.

Benefits

AMI offers a wide range of potential system and customer benefits. The extent to which any customer will realize these benefits depends on the installation of equipment and systems with which AMI communicates. While AMI provides extensive information, it is up to the customer to act upon that information. In general, benefits include:
  • Improved service response: Can speed service restoration through better information about the facilities involved.
  • Enhanced customer service: Faster response to certain customer service requests, such as meter reading and service connection, facilitated by ability to remotely execute those activities.
  • Improved energy management: Empowers customers to control energy use.
  • Expanded options: Enables special time-of-use rates, pre-paid metering and more.

Value Propositions
Value Propositions:
Source: AEP