The City is investing in upgrades to the utility system that is commonly called Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI). This system includes replacing water and electric meters, puts a device on the meters to remotely read and/or control the meter, and other equipment and software necessary to operate the system.

This system will allow the City to offer much better service to all of our customers and lower the cost of power to our electric customers.

  • While not an immediate reduction, the average electric rate increase is expected to go from 2.3% to around 1% over the next six years. This will save customers around $750,000 during this period (including the cost of the system).
  • Customers with imperfect credit history will be able to prepay to avoid high deposit.
  • Customers will be able to choose alternate billing period.
  • Automatic outage detection will allow the City to respond quicker to outages.
  • Automatic water leak detection to help prevent customers from having to pay unexpected high bills.
  • Cost for all metered customers will be $7 a month for 5 years to pay for the initial cost and $2 a month thereafter for ongoing maintenance.

The savings will be accomplished by including customers in the cost reduction efforts. The AMI system will allow the City to also start a Demand Side Management (DSM) program at no cost to the customers.

How much the City and its customers pay for power is largely determined by how much the entire system is using at its highest point in a year. This is referred to as the “peak”. DSM works by limiting the use of heating and air conditioning during peak use periods to about twenty minutes per half-hour. These periods last four hours or less (usually 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.), and occur less than ten times a year. Most customers will only see a one to two degree temperature change during these periods. Every customer that participates in the DSM program will not only save money but lower the cost of power to the City and all of its customers as well.