SAFETY, ACCURACY & CONTROL
Advanced meters are digital meters with a small computer chip and radio that transmit information to and from BELCO over a secure network.
We are in the process of installing an integrated system of advanced meters, communication networks and data management systems. This Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) improves the efficiency and reliability of our electricity service by sending us a signal automatically when any abnormality, such as a power outage, occurs.
This allows us to deliver better service levels with faster response times. We will also receive information about power quality, energy usage and meter tampering; this will help BELCO to operate the system more efficiently and reduce energy theft.
The AMI is integrated with our new Outage Management System (OMS) to provide more accurate information about outages and restoration times to our customers.
Customers in control
Beyond simply providing critical information, the AMI allows customers to take more control of their energy use. With AMI, you can set usage thresholds with notifications. As you approach your threshold, you will receive alerts, enabling you to adjust your energy usage for the remainder of your billing cycle to better manage your bill.
Every 24 hours, the advanced meters send reports to a portal on the BELCO website so users can see their usage from the past 24 hours. This data is separated by hour, which helps users to see how and when they are using electricity. Additionally, the portal overlays outdoor temperatures and humidity from the day from local weather services to help explain the usage, for example, if the air conditioner was using more energy to keep the house cool because the outdoor temperature was very high.
Once the AMI has been fully deployed across Bermuda, new billing options will become available. Estimated billing will be eliminated and billing will become accurate to within +/-0.2%. You will be able to choose the monthly billing date that is most convenient for your schedule. Most radically, prepaid plans will become available, allowing you to avoid billing surprises and better manage your spend.
Another benefit of the AMI is that BELCO can remotely connect and disconnect customers. This makes the process quicker and more efficient for moving house or changing tenants. The AMI rollout is underway and is expected to be complete by 2021.
For quality control and safety reasons, well-trained BELCO employees are installing the new meters; we are replacing your old analogue or digital meter with the new AMI device. Our robust due diligence process ensures safe installation and equipment quality.
You will receive a letter or email advising the anticipated timeframe of your new advanced meter installation, which will be scheduled during the typical work week.
You do not need to be at home while the work is done unless the BELCO employee cannot access your meter. After the installer visits your property, a leaflet will be left to indicate the status of the job.
Safety is our ultimate concern, which is why we are installing AMI equipment that is compliant with international health and safety standards, including FCC regulations. We conducted extensive independent research to ensure the wellbeing of all of the people of Bermuda. The results confirmed that the exposure to the radio frequency from an advanced meter is much lower than a transistor radio, cell phone, wireless computer mouse or even a baby monitor.
Not only is this exposure lower but it is also transmitted for a miniscule amount of time; under normal operation, each AMI meter transmits for a total of less than one second in a 24-hour period. Remember, we are BELCO customers too; safety will always be our priority.
In terms of cyber-safety, the AMI does not give BELCO any access to your home computer system or personal information. The AMI simply transmits information between the advanced meter and BELCO on a secure radio network. It does not show which appliances you are using and it is not connected to your internet, phone line, home computer or any other devices.
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom are expected to have 100% smart metering by 2020
Questions you may have
What is Advanced Metering Infrastructure ?
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an integrated system of advanced meters, communication networks and data management systems that enable two-way communication between a utility and its customers.
What is an advanced meter?
An advanced meter is a digital meter that contains a small computer chip and radio that enable information to be transmitted to and from BELCO over a secure network in near real-time.
Are advanced meters safe?
Safety comes first in everything we do. The AMI equipment being installed is compliant with international health and safety standards, including FCC regulations. We also took the extra step of conducting extensive independent research to ensure the wellbeing of the people of Bermuda, including ourselves, our families and friends. The results confirmed that the exposure to radio frequency from an AMI meter is much lower than a transistor radio, cell phone, wireless computer mouse or even a baby monitor. It should also be noted that, under normal operation, each AMI meter transmits for a total of less than one second per 24-hour period. Proper installation of AMI is important to ensure the meters work properly and safely. That’s why BELCO has chosen to use our own, well-trained staff to undertake the island-wide installations and have put into place a robust due diligence process to confirm proper installation and equipment quality. Any faulty equipment found when removing old meters will be replaced or repaired at BELCO’s expense.
How does BELCO benefit from AMI?
BELCO will receive more accurate, up to date information about every metered connection in its electricity system. This includes information on power quality, energy usage, outages and meter tampering. This will enable BELCO to operate the system more efficiently and reduce energy theft.
BELCO will be able to lower its operating costs through immediate power outage notifications, the ability to connect/disconnect customers remotely and quicker restoration of power.
Who will install the new advanced meters?
BELCO employees will install the meters, replacing your old analogue or digital meter with the new AMI device. We have chosen to keep the work in-house in the interest of quality control and safety.
How will I know when my meter is being changed?
You should have received a letter or email with this flyer advising the anticipated timeframe of your new advanced meter installation. Installations will be undertaken during the normal work week, unless there is a reason why it must be performed outside of regular hours. You do not need to be at home when the work is done unless BELCO does not have access to your meter. A leaflet will be left after an installer visits your premise indicating the status of the job. As meters are the property of BELCO, you will not be charged for the meters or the installation work.
Will the AMI system give BELCO access to my home computer system and personal information?
The AMI system transmits information between the meter and BELCO on a secure radio network. AMI does not show which appliances you are using and is not connected to your internet or home computer.
Is BELCO making any other improvements to the electricity system?
In conjunction with AMI, BELCO has implemented a new Outage Management System (OMS) to provide more accurate information to our customers and the Community about outages and restoration times. The AMI meters are integrated with the OMS and report outages automatically. In addition, BELCO will be making major investments in its transmission and distribution system that will facilitate Bermuda’s energy future.