Myths and facts about advanced meters

Posted | July 6, 2018

Advanced meters offer a host of benefits, including detailed usage information to help customers manage their energy consumption as well as faster restoration times. There are a number of myths about the proposed advanced meter program that LG&E and KU have proposed so, we’ve addressed a few to help clear up some misconceptions.

Myth: Advanced meters offer little to no customer benefits.

Fact: Advanced meters offer a host of benefits to customers and the entire energy grid.

  • Advanced meters offer customers near-real-time energy-use information through a user-friendly online dashboard that provides insights into their energy consumption — data to help them make decisions which can save them money. Many customers in the Early Adopter Program have shown their ability to save energy with the information provided through the MyMeter portal.
  • Advanced meters also allow utilities to better determine where outages are occurring, quickly diagnose the cause of the outage and, at times, respond more efficiently. In fact, power can sometimes be restored even before a customer reports an outage.
  • The meters also provide streamlined meter-related processes and establish a foundation for a stronger energy grid, especially when combined with other automated technology.   

Myth: LG&E and KU are pushing new meters on customers without listening to their concerns.

Fact: The utilities have studied advanced meters for 20 years and conducted a series of feedback/educational meetings with a representative customer collaborative group in 2017.

  • The utilities currently offer interested customers an Advanced Meter Early Adoption program. Additionally, the utilities have studied advanced meters for two decades, gaining valuable experience on the equipment’s capabilities. 
  • To better address customer needs, LG&E and KU formed a collaborative group and met monthly from July through November 2017. Representatives included low-income groups, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office, Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers, the Kentucky School Board, Louisville Metro Government, Lexington-Fayette County Government and the Sierra Club.
  • Over the course of the meetings, the company gained a better understanding of everyone’s needs and addressed various questions from group members. The collaborative was successful in addressing concerns although there was not unanimity on pursuing full AMS deployment.

Myth: LG&E and KU plan to spend $717 million in the next five years on high-tech meters.

Fact: The utilities filed a three-year, $350 million request to install AMS throughout the service territories.

  • LG&E and KU are proposing to invest about $350 million in this three-year project to provide customers with better energy management information and improve service.
  • The cost would be more than offset by the savings and benefits advanced meters provide over the lifetime and is comparable to the amount other utilities have invested.
  • The $717 million, that has recently been referenced, is the nominal revenue requirement for the entire 23-year life of the project (not just the five-year cost), which would be offset by $966 million in evaluated benefits, thus a net savings to customers.