Advanced Metering System (AMS)
The City of Weatherford Utilities Department will be upgrading all service meters, both electric and water. By 2018, the advanced metering system will allow two-way communication between the customer's meter and the Utilities Department.
The first phase of the Advanced Metering System (AMS) is in place and is operating. As of March 1st, 2016, over 9,600 AMS meters have been installed in our service area, 5,582 electric meters and 4,107 water meters have been installed, and are communicating to and from our customer service department. AMS meters are the basis for new technology and savings options that will allow us to bring you an array of alternatives in the future.
Over the next few years My Account Portal will be available to all customers. This portal will allow you to set usage parameters, leak detection, receive outage notifications, and give you real-time data on the electric side. The use of this portal allows the customer to get all their consumption data for electric and water and help control their bill.
Please contact Utility Billing if you have any questions at (817) 598-4225.
Monthly meter readings will now be done through AMS meters and do not require a manual reading. Readings are fast, accurate and can be taken any time during the day, all done without disrupting your schedule. This secure technology also ensures the most accurate bill possible, because we no longer have to estimate your bill when we can't access your meter.
An AMS meter is a digital meter, the same metering technology that has been used for many years, but AMS meters have the ability to communicate. The meters communicate through a secure wireless and licensed channel. While they can communicate at any time of day, they are "on" or transmitting data for just milliseconds a day.
Another benefit to AMS meters is the ability to identify specific areas of power outages more quickly. Quickly determining the extent and nature of an outage helps the utilities department determine the best course of action to restore service.
In future phases of this project, you will be able to view your daily usage, at your convenience, by logging into your account on City of Weatherford's website. Knowing both how you consume electric and/or water, and when, will allow you to decide what savings changes you would like to make. You can always check our website for current information.
*NOTE:If you wish to not have an AMS meter, please review the Opt-Out Policy, prior to making your decision. To opt-out, you may submit your application form electronically or download a copy to submit to the customer service department.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is AMS?
AMS is defined as an Advanced Metering System. AMS meters have the ability to send meter readings and other related information such as time and date to designated server location, in our case the Customer Service department.
What are the benefits?
AMS meters utilize digital technology which allows options that were not available with electro-mechanical meters. In addition to receiving multiple readings from each meter every day the automated function to transmit readings saves time, labor cost, and allows you more privacy. Meter technicians will only need to access your meter(s) on a very limited basis. Another benefit is the automatic notification the utilities department will receive when power is lost to the meter and consequently to your home or office. In the past, utilities have not had the ability to know when or exactly where power was lost. Now, with AMS meters, the utilities department will better be able to pinpoint outages and restore electric service faster. Learn more about Consumer Benefits for at home or business.
What do the AMS meters look like?
They electric meter look very similar to the digital meters that were in place. The AMS meters have digital numbers so they are easy to read. The face of the meter has the current meter reading, the meter number, barcodes for meter identification, the City of Weatherford logo and information about the type of meter.
Will I be able to still read my meter outside?
Yes, the AMS meters for electric have an easy-to-read digital display instead of a series of dials.
How often will my meter(s) send readings?
Real-time electric and water readings from your meter will be sent to customer service department several times a day.
Will my account and usage information remain secure and confidential?
Yes. Your usage information will be safely transmitted by radio frequency (RF) over a secure network to Customer Service department. Each meter has an encryption code that secures confidentiality and they are equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access. Learn more about Data Privacy and Smart Meters.
I understand that the new meters use radio frequency communication. Is this safe?
The new meters use the same FCC-approved radio frequencies that have been used for many years in devices such as baby monitors, cellular and portable phones, remote controlled toys and medical monitors. RF fields from these meters have been studied and they have been found to emit very low fields and then only intermittently. Any exposure to humans would be extremely small. To provide some perspective, under typical operating conditions, an individual meter would transmit for approximately 45 minutes over a 20-year operating life. This should provide significantly less RF exposure than a single cellular phone call of the same length. These meters are no different in terms of exposure to radio frequencies (RF).
Will it interfere with home electronics or medical devices?
No, the new meters are designed to not interfere with devices in or around your home, no more than your cell phone. Find out about the Myths vs. Facts: The Truth about Smart Meters.
Will my bill go up because of the new meter?
No, your monthly bill will continue to reflect the normal fluctuations in your energy use. The costs for the new meters are being recovered through the reduction in operating costs.
How does the utilities department ensure that these meters are accurate?
All meters, no matter the type, have meter standards that must be met. Meter standards are set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Do I have to get the AMS meter(s)?
No. We do provide an option to not have the AMS meter(s). Please review our Opt-Out Policy to understand the terms and conditions of opting out. You may submit your application form electronically or download the application to submit.
When will I be able to access daily readings and consumption?
That level of detail should be available to customers over the course of the year. We will keep you posted as to when and how you will be able to access your meter readings.
Will water meters be read remotely like the electric meters?
Yes, the water department began exchanging water meters with those that can be read automatically. Water meters will be exchanged, along with the electric meters, over the next few years.
How will my water meter send readings?
The water meters will have a module that relays usage information to the RF system.