Your electric or electric or gas meter tells Unitil how much energy (in kWh for electricity orin kWh for electricity or in ccf for natural gas) your property has used in the previous billing cycle, keeping you informed of your monthly energy use.
Unitil utilizes both an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and both an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and an Automated Meter Reading system (AMR) to capture customer meter readings. These technologies provide accurate readings on the cycle billing day as well as throughout the billing cycle.
Decoding Your Dials
Our electric service customers have a combination of digital, odometer and dial displays, most of which are equipped with Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI) technology. The AMI system allows us to take accurate meter readings on a daily basis. In turn, we can provide very detailed energy consumption information back to the customer. By comparing your monthly use over a period of time, you’re able to make more educated decisions about your usage, which may help you decrease your demand and lower your monthly bill.
We provide you with your monthly energy usage on your printed bills; however you may still wish to read your meter from time to time. Here’s a simple diagram to decode a dial meter:
AMI and AMR technology have become a new standard in the utility industry, furthering the concept of a “smart grid”. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology with two-way communications to control appliances at consumers' homes to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. In principle, the smart grid is a simple upgrade of 20th century power grids which generally "broadcast" power from a few central power generators to a large number of users, to instead be capable of routing power in more optimal ways to respond to a very wide range of conditions.
The seasons in New England bring temperature swings that directly impact energy use, whether you’re heating your home in the winter or cooling it in the summer. In 2011, we rolled out a pilot program to a portion of our Massachusetts and New Hampshire residential electric customers to test various smart grid applications. We eventually hope to offer this service to all of our residential customers.
Programs such as this empower customers to be mindful of their energy consumption on a more frequent basis to understand how peak and off-peak periods can affect their energy costs. In the meantime, review your monthly bills to be sure you’re not experiencing avoidable increases in energy use and read our tips to help keep your energy costs down year-round.