By: Alton Telegraph |
As part of its multi-year plan to improve service reliability and create jobs in central and southern Illinois, Ameren Illinois announced Friday it is upgrading more than 45,000 electric and natural gas meters for residential customers in and around Madison County.
Customers in the following communities will benefit from these enhancements: Bethalto, Caseyville, Collinsville, East Alton, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Granite City, Hamel, Marine, Maryville, Pocahontas, St. Jacob, Troy and Worden.
“This advanced technology will provide our customers with access to more choices for pricing options and energy efficiency tools to help them manage their energy usage and better control their costs,” said Jason Klein, Division Director for Ameren Illinois serving Madison County. “It will also enable us to more quickly detect system disruptions, prevent outages, and restore service.”
Customers will receive more information about electric and natural gas meter upgrades which are scheduled to begin in April and continue into the summer. Benefits of these smart, two-way communication devices include:
- A smarter grid. The smart meter works with the other system upgrades that Ameren Illinois is making, including installation of automated switches and sensors that will help the energy company detect and isolate outages and restore service more promptly.
- More energy usage control. As technology continues to advance, the energy usage information captured by the smart meter will enable customers to take an active role in controlling their energy usage and costs.
- More customer information. Smart meters will deliver usage data to customers through mobile and web-based tools — all designed to help customers better manage their energy use.
Ameren Illinois will contact customers in advance of making the meter upgrades. Customers do not need to take any action or be present as long as installers have clear and safe access to the meters. The upgrades will take about 10-15 minutes and will be performed by Ameren Illinois or Donco contracting crews displaying Ameren photo-ID badges. Installers will never ask for payment of any kind. There will be a brief interruption to a customer’s electric service. If a customer is not present, a door hanger will be left to let them know if the upgrade was completed.
“We are committed to keeping our customers informed about how we are investing to upgrade their service,” Klein said. “Smart meters contribute to greater service reliability and offer more customer benefits. Enhancing reliability and providing access to energy information is going to continue to deliver energy and cost-saving advantages for our customers in the future.”
According to Klein, customers are experiencing the benefits of Ameren Illinois’s long-term approach for upgrading the state’s natural gas and electric delivery infrastructure. Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects by adding new technology and fortifying the energy grid. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $45 million a year. The utility has added more than 650 employees, and more than 1,600 Illinois-based contract workers who are supporting Ameren Illinois projects.
Customers with questions can visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus or call Ameren Illinois Customer Service at 1-800-755-5000.