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Frequently asked question and answers

Advanced Metering Infrastructure system (AMI) is a key component of a larger effort by American Electric Power operating companies to upgrade its electric grid using the latest technologies. Advanced digital meters will give electric customers greater control over their electric costs, help improve electric system reliability and reduce carbon emissions through energy conservation.

Advanced digital meters are secure two-way communication devices with the potential to transform the way electricity is used. However, electric consumers must familiarize themselves with these devices and their capabilities to take full advantage of them.

What is the PSO Advanced Metering Infrastructure system (AMI)?
AMI will replace electric meters currently used by PSO with "Next Generation" electronic technology designed to improve customer service and enable customers to proactively control their energy use

What is an advanced digital meter?
An advanced digital meter is an electric meter equipped with secure wireless communications technology. They are a key part of establishing the smart electric grid of the future. Customers will be able to better manage their use of energy, save money and reduce their impact on the environment with advanced meters.

Why were the traditional meters replaced with advanced digital meters?
In a time of rising energy prices, many states are requiring electric utility companies to provide more energy efficiency options. The new meters will encourage customers to think more about how and when electricity is used, which, in turn, will help meet current and future energy needs.

What makes a meter "advanced"?
Advanced meters are equipped with secure wireless communications technology. This allows PSO to communicate with them remotely so that certain service requests can be completed faster, such as meter reading, service connections and outage notifications.

What are the benefits of advanced digital meters?
The information that an advanced digital meter makes available will allow a customer to take control of his or her energy budget. It will enable decisions to be made that conserve energy and natural resources, thus minimizing the impact on the environment.

Will PSO offer energy-saving programs?
Customers with an AMI meters are eligible for energy-saving programs. All programs are fully subscribed. We will offer programs in the future to help customers save energy and money. 

Where can customers access their electricity usage information?
Once an AMI meter is installed, customers will be able to view their electricity usage online by registering at https://www.psoklahoma.com/go/PSOhomeSMART. Having access to more timely and detailed information about electricity usage will allow a customer to make informed energy use choices.

Will the communications system interfere with home equipment?
All communications equipment meets criteria set by the Federal Communications Commission and should not interfere with any equipment inside a home or business.

Will customer account and usage information remain secure and confidential?
Yes. PSO is required to comply with all federal laws regarding the privacy, protection and disclosure of personal information. The meters and the associated communications system are encrypted and equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access.

I understand that advanced digital meters use radio frequency communication. Is this safe?
Advanced digital meters use the same FCC-approved radio frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as baby monitors, portable phones, remote controlled toys and medical monitors.

PSO and neighboring co-ops have used radio frequency meters for meter reading in rural areas for many years. The new meters are no different in terms of exposure to radio frequencies.

RF fields from advanced digital meters have been studied and found to emit very low fields and then only intermittently. Any exposure to humans would be extremely small. There are no known adverse biological effects from these small fields. To provide some perspective, under typical operating conditions, an individual meter would transmit for approximately 45 minutes over a 20-year operating life. This should provide significantly less RF exposure than a single cellular phone call of the same length.

Smart Meters and RF Fields
Advanced digital electric meters -- known as smart meters -- provide customers and utilities with real-time use and price information customers can use to reduce their energy bills. This is possible with wireless communication technology, which produces a very low radio frequency -- or RF -- signal.

Can a customer opt out of the program if the new meter is not wanted?
No, in order to reap the full benefits of AMI from an operational and cost standpoint, AMI needs to be fully deployed throughout the project area. In turn, our operational structure is changing to support the new technology and work practices.

Will customers have to pay for the new meters?
Owasso customers will not be charged for the Smart Meter.

Will a meter reader still need to come around to read the meter?
After the initial verification of the meter, AMI meters will be read automatically so that meter readers no longer will have to enter a customer’s property every month. However, PSO employees will continue to need access to the meter for periodic safety and quality assurance inspections and maintenance.

Will this affect meter reading jobs?
This new technology will reduce the number of meter readers needed. PSO is working to find positions within the company for affected employees and will offer placement services for those who will seek employment elsewhere. 

What happens if the meter is defective and how is this detected?
PSO can remotely monitor the activity of all AMI meters on its system. If the meter is defective, the monitoring systems can determine if testing or replacement is needed.

Does PSO have the authority to install high-tech digital meters?
Yes, PSO was granted approval by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Can PSO control my meter and power consumption?
AMI meters are two-way communication devices that interact between the consumer and power companies. Their primary function is to provide greater reliability, privacy and customer service. One of the biggest benefits to the customer is to provide consumption information that will enable the customer to monitor electric usage and conserve electricity.

In the future, PSO may provide time-of-use rates and other offerings to give customers more options and rate offerings. If interruptible rates are offered in the future, it will only be with the consent of the electric consumer.

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