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ADVANCED METERING INFRASTRUCTURE - Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I access the data provided by the new meters?
  • If you would like to review your usage data, contact MPW at 843.884.9626 and a Customer Service Representative will assist you.

  • How does MPW know these meters are accurate?
  • The meters are tested by the manufacturers and comply with the American Water Works Association standards. If for any reason you are concerned about the accuracy of your meter or inaccurate billing, call MPW’s Customer Communications Department at 843-884.9626 or email customerservice@mpwonline.com.

  • How does the AMI system work?
  • It uses a radio network to transmit customer usage data allowing electronic reading and eliminating the need for visual inspection.

  • How is the installation done?
    • Many water meters have been replaced and are AMI ready. These meters will simply be fitted with the AMI transmitter.
    • Older meters will be replaced with new meters and the AMI transmitter.
    • Installers will clean the area and make sure the new device is working properly.
    • You will notice a small raised antenna on the top of your meter box once your meter has been replaced (see image below).

    https://www.screencast.com/t/fRL4CukIELG

  • How long will the installation process take?
  • In most cases, less than 30 minutes.

  • How long will this new device work?
  • The life expectancy of the devices installed in the field is 20 years. Periodic inspection and maintenance will be performed to ensure all devices are performing as expected.

  • How will the project benefit the MPW and its customers?
  • AMI technology has been proven in many utilities across the country and locally areas such as Berkeley County and Hilton Head. AMI minimizes meter reading costs, and is faster and more efficient than automated or manual meter reading.

    Benefits to Customers:

    • Ability to track consumption (hourly readings);
    • Smarter decisions regarding service and usage;
    • Higher reliability due to timely readings;
    • Closer meter reading and billing dates;
    • Problem solving capabilities;
    • Improved customer engagement and service.
    • Benefits to MPW:
    • Improve customer relationship;
    • Increase efficiency in billing and customer service
    • Improve operations;
    • Reduced labor and travel for meter reading;
    • Improve non-revenue water analysis;
    • Improve workforce management;
    • Reduce carbon footprint;
    • Improve safety and security.

     Advanced Metering also supports MPW’s commitment to preserving and protecting the environment.

    • Carbon emissions will be greatly reduced by taking meter readers off the road.
    • MPW’s ability to quickly detect and stop leaks will be greatly enhanced.
    • By providing up-to- date water usage data, customers can improve their efforts to conserve.
  • If I am getting AMI technology, will I be notified before the installation takes place?
  • Yes. You will receive a notification at least one week prior to installations beginning in your area. On the date of installation, US Bronco Services will attempt to contact you at your home. If you are not home, they will move forward with your installation. A doorhanger will be left to information you of any work conducted.

  • If I notice a problem after installation, whom should I contact?
  • If you notice a problem after installation, please e-mail customerservice@mpwonline.com or call 843.884.9626.

  • Is my privacy secure?
  • Yes, measures are in place to ensure your information is secure and kept safe at all times. MPW will not provide this information to any other person or business. Only account holders or authorized persons will receive information regarding meter readings.

  • Is the AMI technology safe?
  • The new meters will not negatively affect your health. The wireless portions of the system will be operated per Federal Communications Commission rules, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. The transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cellphone transmission. Exposure to radio waves from smart meters is tiny compared to cellphones transmissions. The amount of exposure to radio waves decreases with the square of the distance from the radio source and the total transmission time is only 15 second per day.

  • Is there any special care or maintenance that I need to do to my new meter?
  • As in the past, MPW will maintain your meter. Please know that this new meter has transmitting technology on it that allows your meter to be read remotely on a daily basis.

    It is important that all customers follow Town Ordinances and keep the meter box clear from all landscape material and debris. As outlines in Chapter 51 of the Town of Mount Pleasant Ordinances, it shall be unlawful to plant, place or allow to become established, vegetation, other than low-growing grass, over or within two feet of either side of any water main, water service line, water meter, sewer main, sewer lateral, manhole cover or other apparatus owned by Mount Pleasant Waterworks.

    Access the Ordinances Here:

    http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/South%20Carolina/pleasant/townofmountpleasantsouthcarolinacodeofor?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:mtpleasant_sc

  • What are smart meters?
  • Smart meters are water meters that offer two-way communications between the meter at your home or business and MPW. They are a key component of our new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system.

  • What do I need to do to prepare?
  • Your existing meter box may have become covered by grass or other landscaping material. Uncovering your meter prior to installation will help keep the project moving.

    Below is an example of how your meter box should appear. If your landscaping has overgrown your box, please cut all material back and allow for a two foot clearing around all sides of your meter box.

    https://www.screencast.com/t/wc2nXkWBiYKT

    Once installed, it may be several weeks before your smart meter is fully activated but your usage will still be measured and available from the meter visually. This delay will allow time to ensure the system is fully functional and the meter is communicating reliably with the MPW’s data network. During this time, MPW will manually read your meter. Once fully activated, MPW will no longer send someone out to your home to read your meter. We will read your meter remotely through the AMI network.

  • When will I get my smart meter?
  • Installations will begin in July 2017. The entire project should take approximately 36 months to complete. In most cases, the transition will be completely transparent and will have minimal effect for customers. The work will be performed during the normal working hours of Monday-Saturday 8:00AM – 5:00PM.

    MPW has contracted with US Branco Service to install all new Smart Meters. You will receive a notification prior to your new Smart Meter installation. You can also track the process of this project by viewing our live mapping system on our website:

    www.mountpleasantwaterworks.com

  • Who do I call if I have questions or concerns about my smart meter?
  • MPW’s Customer Service Representatives are available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. You can reach a representative by calling 843.884.9626 or emailing customerservice@mpwonline.com.

  • Who is involved in the AMI Initial Implementation Project?
  • All meters will be upgraded to an AMI Smart Meter.

  • Who will install the AMI device?
  • MPW has contracted with US Bronco Services to install all meters. They will be driving vehicles marked with both US Bronco Services’ logo and MPW’s Smart Metering logo

    (see below)

    https://www.screencast.com/t/fskSbRs188o

  • Why is MPW installing smart meters? What are the benefits?
  • MPW is in the process of upgrading its technology to better serve customers. Smart meters offer a number of benefits for both MPW and our customers, including more detailed water usage information and the ability to address issues more quickly and effectively. The new smart meters help MPW operate more efficiently and pass on benefits to customers, including the following:

    • Improved customer service and support
    • Fewer estimated bills
    • Detailed hourly usage data
    • Data to help resolve billing and usage questions
    • Faster service for customers who open and close accounts
    • Reduced operating costs
    • Better data allowing staff to plan, construct and optimize the water distribution system
  • Will I be able to read my water meter after the AMI device is installed?
  • Yes, visual meter reading will still be available as a back-up.

  • Will I be charged for this new service?
  • No, there is no additional cost for the new meter The funding for this technology is incorporated in the water bill you already receive.

  • Will my water bill look different?
  • No. The look of your water bill will remain the same for now.

  • Will my water service be disrupted during this process?
  • A 30 minute service shut-off will be necessary during your meter replacement.

  • Will the AMI device's radio signals affect the operation of other electronic devices in my home?
  • No, the device's radio signal is similar but significantly weaker than that of a cordless phone.

  • Will the new device affect my bill?
  • Installation of the AMI transmitter will not affect your bill. A new meter is more accurate than old meters, so your bill may change to reflect the accurate measurement of your water use.

Read More: Advanced Metering Infrastructure

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