Special to Iredell Free News
The City of Statesville has begun the process of upgrading all its electric and water meters, replacing the old meters with highly accurate, secure, state-of-the art metering technology called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or smart meters.
After more than 10 years of studying and planning, the City Council approved the AMI project earlier this year, giving staff the green light to begin the installation process. Nearly 12,000 AMI electric meters and 9,000 AMI water meters will be installed over the next six months for both residential and commercial customers.
There is no charge to the customers for the meters.
The AMI system allows the meters to be read remotely, providing information to the city automatically on a daily basis. In addition to reading usage information, the meters can alert the city and customers when there is a power outage and detect water leaks. Through the Customer Portal, customers will have access to real-time information about their electric and water usage and the ability to compare their usage to weather data.
Statesville is partnering with Georgia-based Contract Callers Inc. (CCI) to install the meters. Here’s what a residential customer can expect:
• The technician will be wearing clothing and driving a vehicle with the CCI or Statesville City logo on it.
• They will have a laminated letter from the City authorizing them to upgrade the meter.
• They will not enter your home or ask for money for any reason.
• You can also call 704-878-3564 to verify the identity of any person claiming to work for CCI and ask to see their ID.
Upon arrival at your residence:
• The CCI technician will knock on the door to inform you that work is beginning.
• The electric meter installation will take about 15 minutes and the water meter installation takes about 30 minutes.
• When they are finished, they will leave a door hanger explaining what they have done.
• You will be notified if there was an issue preventing CCI from changing any of the meters serving you.
The cost to replace Statesville’s 21,000 total meters is just under $6.7 million. City officials expect an eight-year payback, taking into account the city’s projected growth, an annual $900,000 savings. AMI implementation is being done without raising utility rates to pay for the project.
The AMI system can also help customers reduce their utility costs. Once the meter is installed, the customer can activate their Customer Portal. This tool allows customers to access and review electric and/or water meter usage on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. Customers will be able to compare usage to weather data and receive notification of alerts about usage levels if requested. It can also detect and notify customers of water leaks. Instructions on setting up the Customer Portal can be found at www.statesvillenc.net/AMI.