Many customers already received a new meter during our most recent meter update in 2005-2006. This current project is only to upgrade the approximately 79,000 remaining commercial meters that are manually read. The current project uses digital AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) meters, which will allow for electronic rather than manual meter reading. This is more convenient for customers and can help reduce costs over time.
The project is part of Duke Energy's overall grid modernization initiative. These AMI meters will form part of an overarching telecommunications “umbrella” enabling the modernization of our EnergyWise Home residential direct load control program. This modernization is necessary to maintain the approximately 700 megawatts (MW) of direct load control capability that EnergyWise Home provides.
The new digital AMI meters being installed are frequently called smart meters because they offer communications opportunities in the future that will be useful as the electric system infrastructure (the grid) is upgraded. This effort is often referred to as building a “smart grid.”
Digital meters that were installed prior to 2012 are not the same as these newer digital AMI meters that are often referred to as smart meters.
The MMR meters (which use secure Mobile Meter Reading technology) currently installed on Duke Energy’s system periodically send encrypted kilowatt-hour information via a low-power radio frequency signal that can be read by equipment installed in Duke Energy trucks. This technology is safe, operates in compliance with state and federal standards and does not interfere with TV, radio, personal computers and home security systems, garage door openers, pacemakers or other electric equipment.
Yes. Numerous studies have been performed on all aspects of radio signals and their relationship to human health. These studies have shaped the regulations and standards that cover today’s technology. We ensure that the systems we purchase and install are well within all the relevant laws, codes and regulatory guidelines.
The technology incorporated into the digital meters installed on our system has been around for more than 17 years, and more than 20 million meters equipped with this technology have been installed throughout the U.S. and Canada. The transmissions are so low – lower than standard radio and communication devices – that they fall well below established safety limits.
Both meters transmit radio frequency signals that fall well within Federal Communications Commission guidelines.
Independent studies have confirmed that both MMR and AMI meters are safe and secure options for our customers.
To efficiently meet its customers’ needs, Duke Energy selected a safe and secure mobile meter reading (MMR) technology, which was installed across its system beginning in 2005. To help ensure the continued delivery of cost-effective service, Duke Energy generally stocks only one kind of meter for each customer group (i.e., residential, commercial, etc.). This helps minimize costs to customers while maximizing the efficiency of the company’s work.
Once the initial digital AMI meter deployment begins, Duke Energy will only stock AMI meters for commercial customers. Any commercial customer who receives a new meter after that time will receive an AMI meter.
Residential customers will continue receiving the existing digital MMR meters.