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Clay Electric received a wave of reports of telephone scam attempts on Friday, April 28. The cooperative once again reminds its residential and commercial members that it does not... Continue Reading ›

A forecast team from Colorado State University has predicted a slightly below-average level of activity in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season. Phil Klotzbach and Michael... Continue Reading ›

Clay Electric Cooperative’s members re-elected three members to the board of trustees during the co-op’s 79th annual meeting on March 30, 2017 at the cooperative’s central office... Continue Reading ›

Clay Electric’s 79th Annual Meeting is Thursday, Mar. 30, 2017 in Keystone Heights. Members will find it to be an activity-filled day. There will be health screenings, a... Continue Reading ›

The Central Florida Community Action Agency will be at the Salt Springs District office on Monday, March 20 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to help members who are Marion County residents... Continue Reading ›

Beginning in April, members who may have forgotten to pay their bill will no longer be receiving a courtesy phone call as a reminder. Due to a new ruling from the FCC, the co-op... Continue Reading ›

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Advanced Meter Performance, Safety & Security FAQ

How will it work?

Does the AMI meter interfere with my other household appliances, such as computer routers, television signals, cordless phones, etc.?
AMI meters should not adversely affect the stability or performance of home wireless networks. Although WIFI network devices, including Clay Electric’s AMI meters, operate on the unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequency band, they don’t necessarily overlap on channels. In instances when they do overlap, different devices are designed to work in the presence of other radios using different protocols.
The FCC regulates all electronics to prevent one type of electronic equipment from interfering with other electronic and wireless devices that operate in the same frequency band.

Does the AMI meter interfere with my HAM radio, or will my HAM radio interfere with the AMI meter?
No. Both devices will work. The AMI meter transmits data for less than a minute on a daily basis.  To eliminate interference, if the meter senses RF communications in progress from other sources on its frequencies, it will wait and transmit at a later time. 

I have solar power at my home. Does the AMI meter work with that?
For members who use solar or some other form of generation, Clay Electric uses the “Net Metering” process that has already been established.  The AMI meter will work with the Net Metering contract.  

I know that Wi-Fi is safe and my home network runs 24/7. How does the Wi-Fi signal from my meter get to a Clay Electric building?
The technology chosen by Clay Electric for our AMI sends a signal, via radio waves, “over the air.” This technology utilizes equipment (routers and collectors) that receives the signal from a large volume of meters and then “hands off” this data to the “Head End” system.
Routers and collectors are predominately mounted on existing Clay Electric poles.

Do AMI meters interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers?
The wireless signals from AMI meters comply with all Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for commonly used consumer wireless devices. The meters broadcast their signals in the 2.4 GHz to 2.483 GHz frequency range. Medical device manufacturers advise people to consult with their physicians regarding concerns about radio signal interference from wireless devices.

Who owns the meter on my house or business?
Clay Electric owns the electrical meter and the line that runs from the member’s premises to the pole. The property owner owns the meter enclosure box and all of the wiring in the home or business.  

Can Clay Electric turn power off and on without sending a truck to the location?
Yes. For nearly all of our members, AMI meters allow the co-op to turn power on and off using this technology. For your safety, Clay Electric recommends that the main breaker be turned off prior to any reconnection of service. Appliances that may have been left on will resume operation once the service is turned on.

 

Are AMI Meters safe?

AMI Meters and Safety Standards
The low-power radio equipment in Clay Electric’s AMI meters is certified by the United States Federal Communications Commission, ensuring compliance with appropriate safety standards.

An AMI meter communicates information about electricity use with other meters and with Clay Electric by sending very brief radiofrequency (RF) signals. The AMI Meter transmits for less than a minute each day.

Several familiar devices produce stronger RF fields, including cellular telephones, walkie-talkies, and cordless phones, which, in addition, are positioned close to the user for a longer period of time. Other common household devices that also use low-power radio signals include televisions, wireless internet systems, laptop computers, video game consoles, and baby monitors.  

National and international organizations have developed exposure limits to ensure that these devices can be used safely. These were developed after comprehensive reviews of RF research. The organizations include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Commission on Nonionizing Radiation Projection (ICNIRP), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. National Commission on Radiological Protection, and Great Britain’s Health Protection Agency.

In the United States, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have also developed safety standards. The RF signals from AMI meters in typical installations are tens to hundreds of times below levels specified in the FCC regulations and in standards as safe for everyday exposure. 

How can AMI meters help me manage my electricity use?
Recent research clearly demonstrates that information about energy usage, conservation, and energy efficiency helps consumers reduce their electricity use. The information available through AMI meter technology could encourage some consumers to manage their energy use differently. In addition, AMI meter technology reduces operational costs for Clay Electric, which means the co-op can provide better service at lower costs for all members.  

How do I access information regarding my electrical usage on line?
Powered by your AMI meter, our online Energy Manager tool will let you see how you use power, day by day. You can understand when you use electricity, track your usage and compare your energy use to similar households.

Is an AMI meter safe for homes with older wiring?  
AMI meters do not impose any additional burden to the existing meter enclosure or house wiring. The meter installer has been trained to inspect your meter enclosure for any potential equipment concerns. This process could potentially uncover problems that otherwise would go unnoticed. This step was incorporated into our installation process as a safety measure for our installers as well as our members.

Is Clay Electric's meter network secure?
Cyber security is nothing new to the utility industry. We have extensive experience maintaining cyber-security for information systems and operating the electricity grid. While AMI meters have added a new component to our system, the meters, communications, and information management are subject to the same Department of Energy security standards that keep the grid secure.   

How is my personal data protected?
Clay Electric protects private data about its members’ accounts. The use of data encryption keeps this data safe during transmission.  

How does Clay Electric protect against hackers and security breaches?
Clay Electric and other utilities already take careful measures to prevent unauthorized access to computers that control critical transmission and generation systems. Cyber security is not new to us, and we routinely protect highly sensitive data from unauthorized access.  

Can unauthorized people monitor my account to learn more about energy use in my home?
The use of encrypted signals prevents unauthorized access to member information or to equipment in members’ homes or businesses.  

Is it easy for someone to tamper with my meter and energy use?
AMI meters offer better security by providing more frequent information about usage and possible meter tampering.