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About Your Electric Meter

Q: Is it true that I need a new electric meter in order to participate in Power Smart Pricing?
Q: Who will install the new meter, and how much will it cost?
Q: Will someone from Ameren need to access my meter each month?
Q: How is the interval meter different from my old meter?
Q: Can my meter tell me how much energy I am using right now?
Q: How can I compare the data in my meter to the charges on my bill?
Q: What information can I get from my meter?

Is it true that I need a new electric meter in order to participate in Power Smart Pricing?

Yes, to participate in Power Smart Pricing your current electricity meter must be replaced with a meter capable of recording your energy use on an hourly basis. The new meter will store hourly data electronically. If the required meter cannot be installed due to equipment compatibility problems at your home, Ameren Illinois will contact you and provide information about your options. If your meter is located inside your house, you may not be able to participate in PSP.

Who will install the new meter, and how much will it cost?

Ameren Illinois will install this new meter at no additional charge.

Will someone from Ameren need to access my meter each month?

Yes, to assure that your efforts to manage electricity usage result in an accurate bill, Ameren Illinois’ meter readers need to physically gain access to your meter each month to download your electricity usage data. If the meter reader cannot access your meter, your bill may be estimated and you may not see the potential savings from Power Smart Pricing during that billing period.

How is the interval meter different from my old meter?

Your old meter measured only the total amount of electricity you used. The interval meter does this while also keeping track of when you use your electricity. This hourly interval data is necessary to calculate your electricity costs because with Power Smart Pricing, the price of electricity changes from hour to hour. Your new meter might be an AMR (automatic meter reading) meter, which means it can be read remotely. It is not necessary to have an AMR meter for the PSP program.

Can my meter tell me how much energy I am using right now?

No, the new interval meter is more sophisticated than your old meter, but does not display your current electricity usage. There are “smart meters” that provide real-time data, but these meters are not used for the Power Smart Pricing Program, in part because the cost of this technology is quite high. Your meter does record your hourly electricity usage, and after your account bills, you can go online to view graphs of your hourly electricity usage along with information about hourly prices. To view these tools, log into your account at www.ameren.com and click on the Power Smart Pricing link.

How can I compare the data in my meter to the charges on my bill?

Actually, the meter is not the best place to look to get information about your electricity usage. You can access detailed information about your household energy use by logging into your account Power Smart Pricing’s Bill Comparison Tool. It will tell you what you would have paid under the standard rate and has graphs showing past electricity usage.

What information can I get from my meter?

The meter display scrolls through 8 items, described below.

# Display What this display tells you
1 Ameren Name of utility
2 All segment check All segments of the LCD (liquid crystal display) are displayed to check that all of the display segments are working
3 Meter number This 8 digit number is unique to your meter and should match the number on your bill.
4 “01” and a number The time of day
5 “02” and a number The total number of kWh used since the meter was installed. This is comparable to the number displayed by the dials on your old meter.
6 “03” and a number The amount of on peak kWh used since the meter was installed. On peak is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday.
7 “04” and a number The highest on peak kW registered since the last time the meter reset.* The meter may or not reset when the meter is read at the end of a billing cycle. The meter does not indicate when it was last reset.
8 “0” and a number The highest off peak kW registered since the last time the meter reset.*Off Peak is 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Monday.

kW = kilowatt. A watt is a unit of power. It indicates how much electricity is being used. (1 kW=1000 watts.)
kWh = kilowatt-hour. A kWh is power usage measured over a one-hour period of time.

* The on peak and off peak kW readings may differ from the kW readings you see on your bill because the meter display may or may not reset itself after the monthly data is retrieved. An AMR meter (See “How is the interval meter different from my old meter?”) will not reset the displays after the monthly data is collected. A non–AMR meter may or may not reset the on peak and off peak kW displays when it is read monthly. The meter display does not indicate whether or not it was reset. Your bill will always indicate the highest on peak and off peak kW readings for the billing period regardless of whether or not your meter reset after the last billing cycle.