Beginning in spring 2023, and continuing over the next several years, SVEC will replace current meters with new ones. A contractor, Wesco, will perform the work. Members will be notified through a postcard mailing that a visit is forthcoming.
With the new meters, the co-op will have the best capability we’ve ever had to measure the demand for electricity on our distribution system. Upon completion of the project, we can continue and expand our work to educate members on best energy conservation practices to control use and, ultimately, expenses for electricity. The meter upgrade is a capital project that SVEC has accounted for in developing its rates. There will be no new portion on members’ bills that show costs associated with this project.
By committing to these upgrades, SVEC is moving forward in providing the best possible value to our members. This work is a strategic complementary piece to the construction of a fiber network connecting substations that will continue to improve grid reliability and security.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I read my new meter?
Readings flip between “R/C” and figures as explained below. The “R/C” indicates a remote connection is occurring with the metering system. Expand the “What does the new meter look like?” question below to see a video of the new meter.
DEL – This is the energy measured in kWh we’ve delivered to you, the member.
REC – For net-metered members, this is the energy measured in kWh we’ve received from your renewable generator. This value appears on all meters and should be zero for non-net meter members.
DEM – This is daily demand for electricity, measured in kilowatts (kW) and will match either AKW or BKW (see below). SVEC does not currently bill for demand on residential accounts.
VPA – Voltage
AKW – This is a Rate A Demand and does not apply to residential account billing at this time.
BKW – This is a Rate B Demand and does not apply to residential account billing at this time.
The new advanced meters collect and transmit metering information via radio frequency to SVEC multiple times per day. The radio frequency (RF) is similar to other common household technologies such as baby monitors and garage door openers (see question at bottom for more information on RF).
SVEC’s advanced metering infrastructure will introduce the next level in managing data related to grid pressure and operation. It will better inform members of their electric consumption habits and lead the co-op toward building an even more robust, reliable distribution system.
Among the benefits, the meters help SVEC better serve members by helping to control rising operating expenses and increasing staff efficiency; assisting with outage response; and improving information available to help members make informed decisions about their energy usage.
SVEC is interested in members’ total electric consumption each day, and how the demand for electricity relates. By developing a bigger picture of the use of our distribution system, SVEC can design, build and maintain it in ways best suited to meet the evolving, varied needs of members, such as load reduction programming. The meters do not control, record or otherwise detect a member’s use of specific appliances or equipment.
You do not need to be home when our contractor visits. Contractors can be identified by the “SVEC Contractor” magnet on their work vehicle. They will also have an SVEC ID badge.
Your meter upgrade will require only a momentary service interruption. The work should take about 10-15 minutes.
SVEC and Wesco's progress with the project will be based on the availability of supplies. Work began in 2023 in Rockingham County. Members will receive a postcard at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled work at their location.
There is no noticeable change for net-metered meters. Delivered and received kWh per day will be available as well as hourly kWh values.
SVEC reached full deployment of current meters in 2012, following an acquisition that brought in an expanded service territory. For existing members at the time of the acquisition, meters are about 20 years old and nearing the end of their useful life.
The current system has limited capabilities because of low bandwidth and speed. The new system can simply do more, such as record load and power quality data in real-time.
The meter upgrade is a capital project that SVEC has accounted for in developing its rates. There will be no new portion on members’ bills that show costs associated with this, or any other specific project. As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, SVEC only seeks revenues that cover expenses through the monthly billing of members; any excess at the end of the year is returned to members through the equity allocation process.
Yes, while the new meters provide technology that can automatically alert SVEC to a service interruption, you should continue to officially report outages through the MySVEC app, online Outage Center or by calling 1-800-234-7832.
No, in compliance with SVEC’s “Terms & Condition for Providing Electric Distribution Service,” members do not have the option to decline the advanced meter.
Radio frequency (RF) emitted by advanced meters is well below the limits set by the Federal Communications Commission and it is below levels produced by other common household devices like cell phones, baby monitors, satellite TVs, and microwaves. You would have to be exposed to the RF from a smart meter for 375 years to get a dose equivalent to that of one year of 15-minutes-per-day cell phone use.
Read more about safety and advanced meters here.