NMPP weighing interest in possible AMI service

September 30, 2020

The Nebraska Municipal Power Pool Board of Directors discussed a possible new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) service for member utilities during their board meeting held in September.

AMI is an integrated system of utility meters that enables two-way communication over a fixed network between a local utility and metering end-points. It allows for enhanced meter data collection, better management of outages, service calls, system maintenance, expanded billing options and an improved overall customer experience. Many utilities today are moving from the older monthly-read meter systems to an AMI system.

After some NMPP member utilities requested some type of AMI Service, NMPP staff began researching the idea of joint-purchasing AMI equipment and a shared Meter Data Management system. Currently NMPP is gauging interest among member utilities to see if it would be a viable service to go forward – the more utilities that participate in the service, the lower the costs for all participating utilities. An AMI vendor has been identified, but enough program commitments need to be secured before proceeding.

Utilities could choose to have a third-party install the AMI hardware or install the meters and data routers themselves. All common costs of the service, not including meters, would be shared by participating members. Once the system is installed, NMPP would handle the ongoing administration and monitoring of each utility’s AMI system.

The potential service aims to assist NMPP member utilities, especially the smaller ones, that would have difficulty implementing an AMI system on their own. If your utility is considering an AMI system, it might be worth considering this potential NMPP service. This would likely be a less expensive option than going alone and NMPP staff would assist you.

No action was taken on the service during the NMPP Board meeting. The next Board meeting is set for Nov. 5.

For interested utilities that would like more information on this potential service, including cost estimates specific to your community, contact Rich Andrysik at (800) 234-2595 ext. 225 or Rich Eymann at (800) 234-2595 ext. 207.