Replacements are Coming
Technology is ever changing; think about your cell phone and its constant upgrades.
Now consider Trico, with over 45,000 meters, and how meter technology has improved over the last 15 years – that’s how long our current automated meters have been in place.
Because meter technology has changed significantly and some of our meters are no longer supported by the manufacturer, Trico, with the help of Compass Metering Solutions, will replace all of our Members’ meters over the next year.
What Should You Expect?
Approximately one week prior to a meter technician coming to change your meter, you will receive an automated phone call or an email message through Trico’s SmartHub system letting you know that we will be in your neighborhood.
When we arrive, we will knock on your door to let you know that we are there to install your new meter. We will change your meter and leave a note on your door indicating that the job has been completed. You do not need to be home. It’s that simple!
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Electric Power Research Institute
Arizona Department of Health Services
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is Trico installing new meters?
Trico’s meters have been in place for 15 years. While our meters have served us well, they are rapidly running up against limitations and many are no longer supported by the manufacturer. New technology and communication capabilities are essential to maintaining the service our members expect. As we incorporate new technology into our electric system, our power quality and reliability improves. In addition, our membership is better able to manage costs and improve energy efficiency.
How do automated meters work?
Our automated meters transmit usage data through a wireless Radio Frequency (RF) signal. The meters communicate for very brief periods at a low signal strength throughout the day. Because these transmissions last only a few milliseconds, the meters typically communicate for less than 1½ minutes per day.
What are the benefits of Trico’s automated meters?
Our meters communicate usage data automatically, reducing meter reading errors and allowing reads that are more frequent. Sending fewer employees to physically read meters also reduces fuel consumption and pollution, allowing more efficient, environmentally friendly operations.
Metering advancement allows Trico to reduce vehicle expenses, time identifying outages and administration costs associated with metering data and billing. This cost control benefit lowers operational expenses across the board.
In addition, the meters notify Trico of outages and fluctuations in voltage. This improves service restoration times and assists with preventive maintenance that can prevent outages and improve the reliability of your electric service.
Finally, the new automated meters will help Trico manage the integration of new energy resources and offer services that help customers reduce energy consumption and save money.
Do automated meters protect Member privacy?
Yes. Member-specific data such as names, addresses and account numbers are not transmitted by automated meters. The meters use advanced encryption technology to prevent unauthorized access to data and the utility network.
How is meter data transmitted to Trico?
Readings are transmitted wirelessly using Radio Frequency (RF) signals that are similar to signals used by cordless phones and many other consumer devices.
Electromagnetic fields, radio waves, microwaves and wireless signals are collectively referred to as RF energy. RF energy is used in various electronics and common appliances in your home such as garage door openers, radio and television broadcasting, baby monitors, cellular phones and wireless headphones, to name a few.
How does Trico ensure that its meters are safe?
Trico’s automated meters comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards for the safe use of Radio Frequency (RF) energy, and the RF energy used is well below FCC limits. In addition, federal health and safety agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration consistently monitor and regulate RF safety.
In October 2014, the Arizona Department of Health Services completed a study about the use of automated meters and concluded that the RF radiation from electronic meters is below the FCC standard of 6 watts per square meter. Read the study, conducted on behalf of the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Can I opt out of using a new automated meter at my home?
No. New meters will be installed on all accounts over the next year.
Who will be changing out the meters?
Trico employees along with contractors from Compass Metering Solutions will be changing out the meters. Our employees will have vehicle signage and our contractors will all be co-branded.
Who can I contact with any further concerns about the use of automated meters?