(9/7/18) Outages identified more accurately. Faster outage restoration response times. Billing and service questions answered more efficiently. Potential energy saving tools for customers. These are all benefits of Entergy Arkansas’ vision for a smarter energy future, through the company’s deployment of advanced metering. This multi-year project was approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, and is already underway with the design and build of the communications network and IT systems taking place over the past two years. This network equipment will start to be installed on electric poles and structures in September 2018. Advanced meters will begin to be installed in 2019 with projected completion in 2021.
“Our goal is to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our customers,” said Laura Landreaux, Entergy Arkansas president and CEO. “As part of this commitment, we are upgrading our systems with new technology that will allow us to offer additional benefits to our customers.”
Upgrading to advanced meters has numerous benefits, including:
- New online tools will be available to customers that help them better understand and manage energy usage more effectively, which can lead to energy usage reduction and potentially lower bills.
- No more waiting until the end of the month to review energy usage. Via the online tools, customers can log into their account and view how much electricity has been used the day prior, shown in 15-minute increments.
- With better information, Entergy Arkansas can answer customers’ billing and service questions more quickly and effectively, improving customer service.
- The company will have a clearer real-time picture of the power grid and how it is operating. Outages can be identified more accurately, so crews can arrive on the scene more quickly to make repairs.
Advanced metering is digital technology that enables secure two-way communication between the customer and Entergy Arkansas. Each meter is equipped with a network radio. The radio transmits meter readings to the electric network access point, housed on an electric pole near the meter. This data is then transmitted to the utility through a secure cellular network. Once a customer’s meter is installed, they may access their online account to view daily energy use, displayed in 15-minute increments. Advanced metering also brings opportunities for potential new programs that can help further reduce customers’ energy usage and better support environmentally sustainable communities.