Technology in Motion
Lea County Electric Cooperative has implemented an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system which will allow all electric meters to be read remotely.
This system will require the Cooperative to replace the existing electric meter with a new TWACS (Two-Way Automatic Communication System) digital meter. This project is designed to not only benefit customer-owners with convenience and cost attributes but to also increase the efficiency and safety of the Cooperative's employee team.
This technology will enable the Cooperative to have reliable two-way communication between our offices and your meter. The TWACS system uses existing power lines to transmit data to the home office.
Advantages of using an AMR system are:
- Provides the ability to access members' meter reading without physically sending a reader to the property
- Provides the Cooperative and the member a reading in seconds rather than having to wait for a scheduled read
- Saves on cost of on-request reads and re-reads
- Eliminates estimated bill reads due to inaccessible and hard to read meters
- Enables us to monitor outage and voltage issues
- Provides tamper and theft of service detection
- Helps to diagnose problems at the location
- Allows for retrieval of historical read data
Installation is simple. In fact, if we have access to your meter, you do not need to be home. You will not be charged for the new meter. Here is what to expect on the day your new TWACS meter is installed:
- We will knock on your front door, or for condos/apartments, we will notify your property manager. Installers will carry identification, but no one will need to enter your home.
- Your power will be out for a few minutes during the installation of the new meter. If you are not home, we will leave a note on your front door after the work is complete.
- After the installation is complete, you will need to reset digital clocks and other electronic devices.
About Your Electric Meter
Electric use varies from household to household, depending upon the size of your home, number and type of appliances and how you use them. Your electric meter keeps track of it all for you. Electric meters record the total amount of electricity used. You can look at your own usage by learning to read your own meter.
Your electric meter measures the amount of electricity you use. Just as you purchase pounds of meat, quarts of milk or gallons of gasoline, you buy kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. One kWh of electricity supplies enough energy to light ten 100-watt lamps for one hour.
The Cooperative uses Smart electric meters to measure residential consumption. This type of electric meter has numerals similar to the odometer in your car. As energy is consumed these columns of numerals revolve, tallying the number of kWh used.
Once you know how to read your meter, it's easy to figure out how much electricity you've used since your last electric bill.
Simply look at last month's electric bill to find the reading recorded by the Cooperative. Then, subtract last month's reading from the number you just took off your meter. What you end up with is the total number of kilowatt-hours you've used since your last reading.
The biggest electricity consumption in your home is from your heating and air conditioning equipment. The average home uses about 55% of its electricity here. Older, less insulated homes use even more electricity. Older appliances and are less energy efficient, and cost more to run.
Water heaters are usually the second largest user of electricity in your home. After that come major appliances like refrigerators, stoves, washers, and dryers, followed by smaller items like TVs, lights, and stereos. Remember, just reading a meter alone will not save money; however, it will help you become more aware of overall energy consumption and being aware is the first step to making wise decisions.
Electric meters are extremely accurate. Meters are tested before being installed and then tested on a rotating basis to ensure accuracy. Meters are very rarely found to run fast and record an increased usage. Like most other machines meters tend to slow with age.
If you feel that there is a problem with your meter, we will test the meter for accuracy. Please call our office at (575) 396-3631 or 800-510-5232 to schedule a meter test.
Questions about your bill?
If there is a billing error, it will be handled in the normal procedure with a credit adjustment on your next bill. Contact a Customer Service Representative at (575) 396-3631 or 800-510-5232. If there is a question about electricity usage your meter will be re-read.
Tampering with an electric meter is against the law.
It is also extremely dangerous. Only Cooperative personnel are authorized to break or replace a meter seal. If you believe someone is tampering with an electric meter, please contact us immediately at (575) 396-3631 or 1-800-510-5232.