New meter FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
About Rock Energy’s New Meters
Rock Energy Cooperative is investing in a new AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) system, which requires the installation of new meters. This upgrade will help us operate more efficiently, improve reliability, and serve you better. Here are some questions you might have about the changes.
Why is the new system needed?
Our current Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system was state-of-the-art when it was first implemented but is now outdated and no longer supported by the manufacturer. The AMR meters were installed in our Wisconsin territory during the late 1990s, and Illinois members received the meters in 2009. The new AMI meters will collect and transmit data faster and more reliably.
What’s the difference between the current system and new one?
The new AMI meters, made by Sensus, collect energy consumption and power quality data and then transmit that data to the co-op via radio frequency communication. The current AMR meters use power lines to transmit data. If a power line goes down during an outage, communication with the meter is lost. The new meter can automatically report outages, voltage variances, and other line conditions without depending on the power lines.
Will a new meter be installed at my home or business?
Yes, and the new meters will offer these benefits:
- Improved efficiency—Reading all meters, residential and commercial, remotely will be more cost effective than having employees drive to remote locations every month.
- Improved reliability—Our outage management system will be able to determine outage locations more reliably, which will result in a faster response time.
- Improved power quality—The new system will report variances in voltage and other line conditions that will help us maintain a more reliable power distribution system.
- Improved member service—You will receive more timely information about your energy consumption, which will help you make wise decisions about how you use energy. We can review that data to help you address any high-bill concerns.
Will I be charged for the new meter?
No, there will be no additional costs to install the new meters.
How will this new meter benefit me?
The new system will allow Rock Energy to respond to outages more quickly because your meter will notify us if you lose power. It also will result in a more reliable power distribution system, improved efficiency throughout the billing system, improved system power quality, and more usage data. You can access that data through SmartHub, our online account management system. The log-in box is at the top of this page.
What information will the new meter record?
Initially, the new meter will record energy use on an hourly basis. You can log on to SmartHub at the top of this page to view this information, which will allow you to pinpoint your usage during various weather conditions and different times of the day.
Will I keep the same rate after the conversion?
Yes, members will continue to pay the same rate as they do now.
When will my meter be installed?
Installation of the new meters started in late July and will continue throughout the year. You will receive a letter from us four to six weeks before work will be done at your location.
Will I lose electrical service during installation?
Yes, for a few minutes. You will need to reset electronic clocks and other devices. The meter installer will notify you before turning off the power. If you are not present, the technician will leave a door hanger to notify you of a successful upgrade.
Will I lose natural gas service during installation?
No, the meter installer is able to make the exchange without any disruption in your natural gas service. The installer will notify you before making the exchange. If you are not present, the technician will leave a door hanger letting you know that we have successfully upgraded your meter.
Who will be installing the meters?
Rock Energy has contracted with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to install the new meters. The company’s employees and vehicles will have co-op identification, so you will know they are acting on behalf of the co-op. UMS has installed hundreds of thousands of AMI meters throughout the country.
How will I know if my meter has been changed?
UMS will leave a green door hanger on your front door to let you know they have changed the meter. You do not have to be present during the meter change. If workers are unable to access your meter because of a locked gate or other obstruction, they will leave a red door hanger notifying you of the problem. If you receive a notice like this, please follow the instructions and respond as soon as possible.
How will my new meter work?
Rock Energy can read the meter remotely from our offices. Information from the meter is transmitted to the co-op via a licensed, encrypted, secure system. The collected data includes usage readings, voltage levels, and outage/blink information.
Will the new meter notify the co-op when my power goes out?
Yes, in most cases. The new meters can report outages, voltage variances, and other line conditions without being prompted by our office. However, Rock Energy still recommends that you report your own outages by phone to ensure that your outage is documented.
Will the communications system interfere with any equipment in my home?
No, our system meets criteria set by the Federal Communications Commission and should not interfere with any equipment inside a home or business.
Is my data secure?
Yes, the metering data will be transmitted via a licensed, encrypted, secure system. No personal information about members is stored inside the meter, and it cannot identify or control individual appliance usage. Instead, the meter records whole-house energy usage just like your existing meter.
How can I get answers to my specific questions?
You can call us at 866-752-4550 or send us an email.