Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is in the process of upgrading its metering infrastructure to improve the reliability and efficiency of the existing electric distribution system and has now started a phased-in deployment of its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system upgrade.

The upgraded meter system will enable the cooperative to perform several functions, such as reading meters, assisting with outage notification and restoration and will support additional value-added services for our members.

In 2020, the cooperative began installing approximately 100 AMI meters in the Onaway, Tower, Black Lake, and Millersburg areas as part of a pilot program.   This pilot has given the cooperative an opportunity to test the network and meter components prior to a large deployment.  For the phased-in installation, we will be installing additional network infrastructure and meters throughout the remainder of 2021 and into the first half of 2022.

Prior to a meter exchange, members should expect to receive a letter or post card from the cooperative notifying them of the upcoming exchange. The meter exchanges will be performed by PIE&G employees, Paul’s Meter Testing, LLC and Advanced Meter Services, a meter installation company contracted by the cooperative.

Meter installers should be able to present photo identification that includes the PIE&G and Advanced Meter Services logos and their vehicles should be marked with signage identifying them as working for PIE&G.

The upgraded system will lower the costs related to performing in-person manual meter readings and will improve outage notification and restoration, contributing significantly to operational efficiencies. The new system will also reduce the cooperative’s carbon footprint by reducing the number of employee travel responses to meter issues. If you’re interested in reading more on AMI, this RF facts sheet and AMI myths document are good resources, along with the FCC website.

AMI Benefits Include

How do I read my new AMI meter?

Even though you may have a new AMI meter installed at your home now, please continue reading your new meter and writing the information on your billing stub as currently required.  Mail your billing stub to PIE&G with payment each month before your due date.  You may also report your readings by phone at 1-866-999-4571, or enter your readings online using our Account Manager “SmartHub” (on the homepage of this website or using our free SmartHub mobile app). When our AMI communications infrastructure is fully operational, your meter will begin to automatically transmit readings to PIE&G.  At that time, PIE&G will discontinue the meter reading boxes on your billing stub where you would normally write in your readings and date.

PIE&G’s new Vision electric meters have easy-to-read digital displays, instead of dials. The meter faceplate will automatically cycle between two (2) different displays of numbers.

In the first photo below, the faceplate is displaying a series of eights (“888888”).  This display is referred to as a “segment check”,  designed to light up each small digital line or segment that outlines each number on the screen.  This segment check is part of the programming, and nothing is wrong with the meter or the display of numbers.  The series of eights simply indicates that all screen segments in the LCD display of numbers on the meters are working.

In the second photo below, on the right, the top line reflects a series of six (6) zeros or “000000”.  The register on all new meters is set to zero in the factory (indicating no electricity usage has been registered on the meter).  This top line shows your electricity usage represented by a 6-digit number.  Each month you will write down this 6-digit top number on your billing stub and include the date you read your meter.  This is your current meter reading, reflecting the amount of energy you have used in kilowatt hours (kWh) since the new meter was installed.  To calculate your total kWh of energy use in a given time period, simply subtract the earlier reading from your current reading.

In the near future when communications are fully operational, your new meter will automatically transmit your readings to PIE&G.  The meter will provide both you and the co-op with valuable information, such as outage detection, and daily interval energy usage. When outages are detected, PIE&G can use this information to allocate and manage resources to respond faster to power outages and improve restoration times.  The meter reading information will be available to you in SmartHub to enable you to review your energy usage patterns and to observe when your usage peaks and drops each day, week and month. This can help make you aware of a malfunctioning appliance (such as a running well pump or inefficient freezer) so you can arrange for repairs or replacement, or allow you to adjust your usage patterns (such as turning the heat thermostat down, or AC setting up or even off when you leave for vacation). Having this information available to you can help you to save energy and money.

An explanation of the two screens that show up on electric smart meters.

AMI Frequently Asked Questions

PIE&G is upgrading to new, enhanced meters to improve the efficiency and reliability of our electric system and also to expand value added services to our co-op members moving forward.  Many members have asked questions about these new meters and how they work. Here are the most common questions we have received and answers.

A general schedule will be posted on our website.   Co-op members will receive a letter or postcard prior to their meter exchange.

We will be installing network infrastructure and meters throughout the remainder of 2021 and into the first half of 2022.

Yes, for a few minutes.  You will need to reset electronic clocks and some other devices.

With the new meters, PIE&G can remotely obtain meter readings, date and time, kilowatt hours (kWh or energy used) and voltage data.  Meter information is transmitted to a collection device and then to the co-op on a routine schedule based on the type of service, meter and billing requirements.

The meter upgrade provides PIE&G members with numerous benefits and will allow us to expand some value-added services in the future.  The new meters will help us:

  • Offer more billing options
  • Save money by eliminating the labor and transportation costs of in-person meter reading – a savings we pass on to our members
  • Improve billing accuracy, eliminating misreads or inaccurate readings
  • Pinpoint the exact location of outages more quickly, meaning a faster response time
  • Help our consumer-members troubleshoot various concerns by providing them access to information about power consumption patterns, outage and blink history, and voltage information.

Following the installation, members will receive a bill with two readings:  one for the previous meter and one for the new meter.

No additional parts are anticipated or required. However, if something is identified as faulty or hazardous with member’s equipment, the co-op will work with the member to resolve the issue.

The meter exchanges will be performed by PIE&G employees and meter installation contractors.  Meter installers will have photo identification that includes the PIE&G logo and their vehicles will be marked with signage identifying them as working for PIE&G.  Our meter installers will not need to enter your residence or business and in most cases, you will not need to be present.  However, if you do need to be present for unique situations, we will contact you prior to the meter exchange.

New meters will be installed on all accounts to replace older obsolete electro-mechanical meters which are no longer manufactured. The cooperative is embarking on a system-wide technology improvement program that will change its existing residential and commercial meter infrastructure to improve service and billing with more accurate information, without the need to enter a member’s property. The new system will also improve reliability, outage notification and restoration times.

At this time, if members have a question about their energy usage, the cooperative must send operations personnel to the member-owner’s property to re-read the meter. With the new system, both the member and member service representatives can access the meter information and obtain the reading almost instantaneously.

The new system will give the cooperative hourly meter readings (for electric) or daily (for gas), instead of relying on infrequent in-person readings. Other features of the new system will provide new data that will enable us to monitor the power quality and system components better and allow us to correct inefficiencies and to repair or perform maintenance.

The new enhanced meters can store and transmit meter information, allowing the cooperative to help members get a better understanding of their energy use, notify the cooperative of outages to improve restoration response and improve system integrity and maintenance. The new meters communicate via a Point-to-Multi-Point (P2MP) network, providing multiple paths for data communication. In the event of an outage, meters that lose power will send a signal to nearby PIE&G pole or tower data collector units within range, which will relay the outage information back to the co-op, allowing us to better pinpoint outage locations and decrease outage restoration times.

Yes. Members will continue to stay on the same rate class as they have in the past.

Contact the Co-op at 1-800-423-6634 to discuss your billing concerns with our Member Services Representatives. Electronic meters are more accurate than in-person readings which are subject to inadvertent human error. The new meters installed have been tested and meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) regulations.

The new meters allow for more accurate readings and a consistent billing period.

PIE&G will continue to perform on-site meter testing and annual verification as may be required by regulations, and system inspections and maintenance as necessary to improve operations.

The new meters are programmed to record usage (kilowatt hours or “kWh”), current and voltage, peak demand (kW), date and time of the reading, as well as other parameters necessary for accounts taking service under Net Metering, Time-of-Use, or other PIE&G approved tariffs and riders. The meters will also provide diagnostic information such as the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power for any reason and the duration of any power outages experienced.  Our meters DO NOT communicate with any devices in your home.

Additionally, the meter functions can be updated directly from PIE&G’s office, so if future value-added rates or billing options become available, the meters can be setup for those options fairly quickly and without service interruption.

We do not plan to change billing cycles as a result of the new metering system.  However, the new system will allow us to bill using readings obtained within 24 hours of the current bill generation.  This will provide each member with up-to-date energy consumption.

No. PIE&G requires that access to its equipment must still be maintained. This allows for cooperative personnel to either read or maintain the meter, if necessary, at reasonable times.

The meter will communicate with collection devices located strategically across PIE&G’s service territory. The data collectors and meters have multiple paths for communications, greatly improving PIE&G’s ability to get timely and accurate meter data. The meter readings are sent back to the co-op via a secure network.

It is extremely unlikely.  Meter manufacturers are incorporating the latest security features and encryption technology into their meters, as recommended by national security experts.  Our goal is to upgrade our electric distribution system to make it safer, more secure, and more reliable. Your new enhanced meter is part of this effort. Also, your new meter will detect and report any tampering attempts to the cooperative.  No personal data is transmitted across the metering network and our meters DO NOT communicate with any devices in your home.

Yes. Inspections of all meters and services will continue in order to look for safety hazards, maintenance issues, theft or other problems.  Employees may also periodically visit your location for manual meter readings or meter related inspections.

The meter display is visible for members to be able to check their consumption.  All other information and data stored in the meter is secure and the meter is sealed.

Yes. Most meters will have remote disconnect and reconnect capabilities.

Yes. In the event of an outage, meters that lose power will send a signal to the collectors, which will then relay the outage information back to the co-op, allowing us to better pinpoint outages, respond faster and decrease outage restoration times.

Yes.  We will announce installation schedules through a variety of methods – in the Spotlight newsletter, in Country Lines magazine and on our website.  Also, prior to a meter exchange, PIE&G will notify members by letter or post card of the upcoming exchange.

Our employees and contractors will notify you that they have changed the meter by leaving a door hanger.  We will work with members and businesses to minimize any inconvenience.  In most cases, you do not have to be present during the meter change.

Yes. You will need to continue to read and report your meter readings on your billing stub each month by your due date, including the date you took the reading. When PIE&G’s communication towers are activated and begin to transmit your meter readings automatically, and you will no longer see the meter reading boxes on your billing stub.  If you use our dial-in phone system to enter your readings, you will know that you no longer need to report your readings if the system will not allow you to enter a new reading.

Continue to read and report readings until the meter reading boxes no longer appear on your billing stub. Once the meter reading boxes are removed from your billing stub, that indicates that the meter is actively reporting your meter readings to us for you.

New Construction Meter Base Specs

The following are acceptable configurations for

Underground Base
on a Post

Underground Mount on Post

Underground Base
on a Structure

Underground Mount on Home


Overhead Mount on Home