In the US state of Minnesota, the city of Saint Peter will deploy an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to accurately bill its electric and water consumers.According to a local publication, the city council approved a proposal submitted by the Public Works Department to deploy AMI meters for water and electric conmsumers following the successful implementation of a two-year pilot.
The installation of the AMI meters is expected to last over a period of 11 years at a total cost of $2.5 million.
The project will replace 9,500 existing analogue meters with the new meters as part of efforts by Saint Peters city to modernise its water and electricity distribution networks.
The programme will be funded by money raised from consumer bills and will replace 400 analogue meters with AMI meters per year.
58% of the meters to be replaced have been used by consumers for the past ten years whilst 7% were installed 20 years ago.
Currently, five antennas have been installed to provide signals which the smart meters will use to communicate consumer energy and water usage data to the city’s central processing unit.
Advantages of using AMI meters
Pete Moulton, public works director at the city of Saint Peters, said: “The benefits for the city are that we can collect information in a more timely manner and process the data quickly.
“For the customer, it can help control leaks and electric usage that may get out of whack.”
The smart meters will allow consumers to receive alerts from the city in the event they exceed their monthly average water and electric consumption levels.
The system will help the public works department improve customer services and management of electric distribution network by receiving notifications in the case of failure of grid assets or in the event of power outages.
Saint Peters city says smart electric meters will enable the implementation of demand response initiatives for the public works department to be able to stabilise grid during peak periods.
Demand response programmes will also help consumers to improve their energy efficiency and keep their bills low by using less energy during peak periods when energy tariffs are high.
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