About 105,000 AEP Ohio customers throughout the company’s service territory will receive updated electric meters over the next five months as the company expands the use of automated meter reading (AMR) technology.
The company will install RF meters that send information over radio waves making it possible for meter readers to gather meter information remotely using either a handheld device or a vehicle mounted mobile unit. AMR meters only transmit meter readings that are collected by the meter reader remotely unlike smart meters that use two-way communications to receive and transmit information between the meter and the utility on a continuous basis.
"The main purpose of installing the AMR meters is to increase meter reading percentages across the AEP Ohio service territory and reduce the number of estimated bills,” said Doug Ickes, manager of meter revenue operations for AEP Ohio. “In addition, the decision to strategically increase the use of AMR technology will provide a safer work environment for AEP Ohio employees."
The project will begin this week and should be completed by the end of May, barring weather delays. AEP Ohio is partnering with APEX to install the meters. Meter installations will be conducted Monday through Saturday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and should go virtually unnoticed by customers. Prior to crews starting work, customers will receive a postcard by mail if their meter is to be replaced. A door hanger will be left when the installation is complete.