Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is coming to our service area! As our service area grows and the demand for electricity increases, we are upgrading our meter technology to serve you better. The program began in Fort Chipewyan, Grande Prairie, and expanding from there.
What is AMI?
AMI meters are digital electricity meters that measure how much electricity is used and when it is used. Using two-way communication, these meters digitally record and report your consumption in real-time back to ATCO.
How do they work?
Our meters use a radio frequency (RF) to receive and transmit information, but the RF emissions from our meters are minimal and aligned with Health Canada Standards. According to several studies, there are no health risks from our meters, due to low power signals, proximity to you and your family, and there are only short bursts of activity rather than continuous.
What are the benefits?
AMI meters can detect outages faster, allowing us to restore power more efficiently. This means less time in the dark, should your power go off.
AMI meters produce timelier reads, which ensures usage calculations on electricity bills are more accurate than manual readings.
We can meet your needs as a customer, as home and business technologies continue to evolve with applications such as solar panels.
Questions? We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions below. If your question isn't answered there, one of our customer service agents would be glad to help. Give us a call at 1-800-668-2248.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the AMI system work?
AMI meters use a radio signal to receive and transmit information. They are part of a larger network where each meter sends signals to ATCO’s meter data collection system, so we can get an accurate reading of your usage. RF meters only transmit for milliseconds and at levels that are half of a Smartphone!
Does the radio frequency (RF) technology used in AMI pose any health hazards?
According to Health Canada, the device poses no health risks. Remember cordless phones? The AMI device uses the exact same frequency! In fact, they have lower emissions than many common household devices (ex. microwave ovens, cordless phones and internet routers). The device is authorized for use in Canada by Industry Canada.
Will the AMI system interfere with other devices that operate on radio frequencies, such as my cordless phone or my garage door opener?
No. The network was designed to operate on many different frequencies to avoid interference with other devices. The network changes frequencies regularly to avoid interference with other devices that operate in the same frequency space.
Do advanced meters malfunction if they are located near a cell phone tower or transmission line?
The network does not operate in the same frequency space as cell phone towers and transmission lines, so they’re not affected by those technologies. The software systems installed with your meter provide additional checks to ensure the readings and communications are operating correctly.
Does the AMI transmit my private information?
The only data transmitted over the network is the unique identification number of the metering device and how much electricity has been used. No customer data (name, address, phone number, etc.) is monitored, so your privacy is always protected. Additionally, the data from each meter is encrypted before being transmitted.