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As a cooperative that is owned by its members, we invest in technology with the goal of improving our members' lives. For more than 20 years, CCEC staff researched AMI (which means "automated metering infrastructure") systems at other cooperatives and investor-owned utilities before deciding to invest in the technology. We watched and waited to ensure that AMI technology had matured and that the selected system was a time tested and good investment for our members.

Before AMI, CCEC relied on a manual process that required field service technicians (what many people called "meter readers") to visit each member’s meter every month. This system produced consistent results for billing, but did not generate any other useful data that could help us identify potential issues at members’ homes and on our distribution system.

AMI presented CCEC with another option for reading meters: AMI meters are read electronically and remotely.

However, early AMI systems were not very beneficial for CCEC. Early AMI relied on one-way communications, from the meter to the utility, and were designed to allow remote meter reading only. These systems used short-range, unlicensed radios and signals that were injected on the 60HZs powerline. Early systems were disrupted by weather conditions and very limited in the information that they could provide.

AMI systems have come a long way in the last 20 years, bringing improvements in both technology and reduction of overhead costs. In 2013, CCEC piloted an AMI system that provided two-way communications from the meter to the home. The pilot included testing at our staff and board of directors’ homes. They wanted a first-hand look at the safety, accuracy, and reliability of the system. In 2014, after a successful pilot, CCEC began the full deployment of the AMI system.

CCEC’s AMI system provides CCEC and its members with several important benefits. The system helps CCEC with 24/7 meter reading, power quality monitoring and outage alarm notifications. That combined with our around-the-clock dispatch team and outage management system, improves service and accelerates outage notification, which means quicker service restoration and improved preventative maintenance.

The system transmits real time alerts when power quality events are triggered at a meter such as loss of power and low voltage. It sends signals which help detect excessive energy usage allowing members to schedule HVAC maintenance rather than be impacted by high bills or equipment failure. The outage notification helps CCEC more safely and efficiently coordinate dispatching of crews, as demonstrated in major storms. Our AMI system helped us respond more quickly and safely to outages during Hurricane Florence.

As with all technology advancements that CCEC implements, we are committed to safety and member protection. Our AMI meters are built with safety in mind first and foremost. AMI meters are built to the same, or higher, industry standards of our old meters. More important, the new AMI meters can help alert us to a problem before it becomes dangerous.

Our meters also are built to ensure data protection. Meter information is not transmitted over the Internet. Instead, meters communicate directly with CCEC staff over secure radio connections. We do not share, sell, or otherwise allow any third parties to use member meter data. Your directors and employees at CCEC have AMI meters, and you can trust that we did due diligence to ensure the safety of the meters and the privacy of the data collected. If you have any questions or concerns, call us at 252.247.3107 or send an email to If helpful for you, we will have an engineer contact you to discuss the AMI system in more detail.