Grand Valley Power is investing in new, enhanced meters to improve the efficiency and reliability of our electric system. Many members have asked questions about these new meters and how they work. Here are the most common questions we have received -- and answers:
Enhanced Metering FAQs
When will my meter be installed? Please view the map for an estimated timeframe of when we will visit your home. These timelines can shift. You will receive a postcard notice about two weeks before installation.
During what time of the day will my meter be changed? Meters will be upgraded Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Who will be changing out the meters? Grand Valley Power and Utility Sales & Service, Inc., an approved contractor, will be performing all the meter changeouts. Utility Sales & Service personnel have identification cards indicating they are working for GVP.
Will I lose electrical service during the installation? Most consumers will experience a brief outage. You will need to reset electronic clocks and other devices. Before your installation, GVP will mail you a notice, and give a courtesy knock on your door on the day of installation. Our technicians will also leave a door hanger to confirm a successful upgrade.
How much is this going to cost me? There will be no additional costs to the member to install the new system. Rates are not affected and will remain the same. Following the installation, members will receive a bill with two readings: one for the old meter and one for the new meter. This will be a one-time occurrence.
What other additional installation parts will I need? No additional parts are anticipated or required. In the event that major electrical upgrades are required, we will work one-on-one with the member to determine a solution before installation proceeds.
Do I require a broadband connection in my home to be eligible for the upgraded meter? No. Enhanced meters communicate via a private, secure, cellular network and do not access your home internet service.
Will Grand Valley power notify me prior to installation?
Yes. We will be utilizing several methods of member notification of pending meter upgrades. They are as follows:
• Colorado Country Life - both online and in print, we will update our members as the process begins.
• Post Card Reminder- sent to members approximately two weeks prior to area installation.
• Door Knock – on the day of our visit, we will give a courtesy knock on your door before we enter your property.
• GVP website (www.gvp.org/EnhancedMeters) – Enhanced meter deployment information and maps will be updated as the meter deployment moves forward.
How will I know if my meter has been changed?
Once our work is complete, we will leave a green door hanger on your front door to let you know they have changed the meter. If you receive a red door hanger, please contact Utility Sales & Service as soon as possible, so that they can schedule a time to visit. We will issue red door hanger’s if there was a circumstance such as a locked gate, obstruction to the meter, concern over the upgrade, or aggressive pets in your yard. We will work with businesses to minimize any inconvenience. You do not have to be present during the meter change.
Why are we changing to the automated meters?
The meter upgrade provides Grand Valley Power members with numerous benefits. The new meters will help us achieve:
- Improved Efficiency- eliminating meter reading and transportation costs is more cost effective– a savings we pass on to our members. GVP will no longer need to visit your property to read meters.
- Improved Customer Service- enhanced meters improve billing accuracy, eliminating misreads, self-reads or inaccurate readings. In addition, it will allow GVP to offer our members timely information regarding their energy consumption through SmartHub. Hourly data which can help troubleshoot high bill problems, outage history and usage patterns, will be available. In addition, the meters can be disconnected or reconnected in the event of an emergency or necessity. They can notify us immediately when meter problems like overheating, are detected.
- Improved Reliability-having a two-way communication with enhanced meters will help pinpoint the exact location of outages more quickly, meaning a faster response time, and fewer outages, blinks and surges. The new system will report variances in voltage or potential line conditions that will help GVP maintain a more reliable power distribution system and alert us of potential issues before they occur.
What’s the difference between the new meters and the old meters?
The new meters are enhanced electronic devices while the old meters were an electro-mechanical device (in most cases). The new meters will continue to display the meter reading, but it will be in an enhanced LED format. The biggest difference is that the new meters will have an electronic circuit board that can communicate remotely. The module receives and stores the kilo-watt-hour (kWh) consumption and demand recorded by the electronics in the meter and is able to transmit securely this and other system data back to the cooperative’s computers.
How does my new enhanced meter work?
With these new meters, Grand Valley Power can read the meter remotely from our central office. Information, such as energy consumption and power quality from the meter, is transmitted back to the co-op each hour through a licensed, secure and private system. Transmitting this information electronically means that a meter reader no longer comes to your house in person. The collected data includes: usage readings, voltage levels, and outage / blink information. This data will not be shared with any third-parties outside of GVP business. No personal information (i.e. member address, name, etc. or other) is stored inside of a meter.
What information does the new meter record? The new meter records an electronic kWh reading, the date and time of energy usage, the overall peak demand of the electric account, if the meter has rotated backwards, and the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power for any reason. In fact, the meter will record the date and time of light blinks and the length of the power outage. We’ll also be able to tell if a meter has been tampered with.
Will someone other than the co-op be able to read the new meter?
The Eaton Infrastructure System has end-to-end leading security, and we’ve reviewed these measures to ensure our members distribution system is safe, more secure, and more reliable. Eaton consistently tests, monitors and equips GVP with secure firmware and communications, in addition to external third-party testing for vulnerability and penetration, so it is extremely secure.
Meter manufacturers are incorporating security features and encryption technology into their meters, as recommended by national security experts. All meters will be tested and are in compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Electric Safety Code (NESC). GVP’s enhanced meters are included as part of this effort. Once your new enhanced meter is installed, your cooperative will be able to tell if someone “tampers” with your meter because the meter will report any tampering attempts to the cooperative.
Will meter readers ever need to come to read the meter manually again once the new meter is in place?
Occasionally. Meter readers will no longer need to visit regularly, however, GVP may visit you for non-meter related matters such as line maintenance or right-of-way and possibly during power outages. In addition, GVP may have meter maintenance as needed.
Once co-op employees no longer need to read the meter, can obstacles be constructed that may make the meter inaccessible?
No. Reasonable access to equipment still must be maintained. This allows for cooperative personnel to either read or maintain the meter if necessary at reasonable times.
Can GVP disconnect power using enhanced meter technology? Yes. All residential meters will have a disconnect switch that is capable of remotely disconnecting the service. This switch may be used for disconnects and safety measures. For example, a meter may be disconnected if there is danger from a fire in the area or a downed line. In addition, a remote disconnect can be used when a member receives a disconnection notice due to non-payments or in violation of our terms of service . We do alert members with reasonable effort before disconnections occur, including a phone call to alert our members that disconnection will occur on stated date unless an arrangement or compliance is made.
Will the new meter notify GVP when the power goes out?
The meters will be able to record outages allowing the cooperative to verify whether the outage is either on the member’s side of the meter or the co-op's.
Will I keep the same rate after the conversion?
Yes, members will continue to stay on the same rate class as they have in the past. There will be no increased cost to the member.
What if my bill reports higher kWh usage than normal or I think my meter is not working correctly?
Contact our office at 970-242-0040 right away to discuss your billing concerns. Other variables could be to blame that you should consider. Billing cycle changes, extreme weather conditions, higher consumption, faulty home appliances or heating and air conditioning systems can result in high electricity bills. Enhanced meters are more accurate than analog or mechanical meters. The new meters installed have been tested and meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) regulations. The new meters allow for accurate readings and a consistent billing period.
What day of the month will the meters be read?
All of the co-op’s new meters can be read at a variety of times to obtain a history of account information. However, for billing purposes member bills will be read on the same monthly schedules as before.
Are there any potential health impacts from a meter that can receive and send data? No. Research conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Utilities Telecom Council and others has revealed no health impacts from enhanced meters. The radio frequencies emitted by enhanced meters falls well below the maximum recommended in federal guidelines. Contrary to some misconceptions, the new meters emit radio frequencies (RF) only when responding to a request for data from the co-op office –once every hour for less than a second. Compare this activity to a laptop with a wireless connection, which is constantly sending and retrieving data, or a cell phone which is used more frequently. An enhanced meter equipped to send and receive data has an RF density hundreds of times less than the RF density of a cell phone – and the meters are installed on the outside of your house not next to your ear! For more information please visit: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
Does the enhanced meter communication network interfere with TV reception or electronic equipment?
No. A low-level radio frequency is reserved for sending meter data to GVP and will not interfere with electrical, radio equipment or personal electronic devices.
How secure will the new meters be?
The meter display is visible for customers to be able to check their consumption. All other information and data stored in the meter is secure and the meter is sealed. No customer-identifying information – names or addresses, for example – is stored in the meters or transmitted across the network. Information that is to be transmitted by meters will be encrypted. Grand Valley Power provides a robust security system that protects all communication exchanges, end-to-end. For more health and safety topics visit: https://www.gvp.org/safety-and-security
GVP will receive detailed information on my electric use. Will my electric energy use information be shared with a third party for marketing purposes? No. Member information will not be shared with any entity for marketing purposes. With the new meters, more data around when you use the most energy will be available to you to make smarter energy choices and can help save on bills.
Will the new meters enable GVP to collect information on my activities within my home? The meters collect data on our system’s performance on our side of the meter only. That information can tell us about usage at a point in time at the service location, such as whether there is power going to the meter, how much power is going to the meter and the voltage level, but it does not tell us the purpose for which the power is being used.
Is an enhanced meter safe for homes with older wiring? An enhanced meter does not impose any additional burden to the existing meter enclosure or house wiring. The meter installer is trained to inspect your meter enclosures for any potential equipment concerns. This process could potentially uncover problems that otherwise would go unnoticed. This step is incorporated into our installation process as a safety process for our installers, as well as our customers.