Electric Meters

Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Midwest Electric has installed a Smart Grid, also called Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

The main benefits of AMI are:

  • Remote meter readings
  • System voltage readings and voltage control
  • System blink data
  • System outage information immediately
  • Power restoration
  • Load balancing
  • Detailed daily and hourly kWh energy use data for individual members, thus helping identify high bill reasons and helping members control their individual energy use
  • System problem areas and where we need to focus on system improvements

Midwest Electric is installing new AMI meters throughout our system, for all members. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (with answers) about our AMI project.

Some have asked about radio frequency health concerns with the new AMI meters. Numerous government and private studies have shown those concerns to be overblown.  Here is a summary with links to various studies.

RF-Signal chart

Meter Tampering

Meter tampering is both stealing and a crime. Since 1978, a revised Ohio law covering theft of utility service and tampering with utility equipment has been in effect.

The statute provides that a person does not have to be seen tampering with his/her meter to be held responsible for such action. Prior to the revision of the law, it was difficult to prosecute a person for meter tampering unless the action was witnessed.

In addition, in a prosecution for a user who is reconnecting a device that was disconnected by a utility, such activity is now considered prima facie evidence that the user intended to defraud the utility.

The law defines theft of utility service as a first-degree misdemeanor if the value of stolen electricity, plus any utility equipment repair, is under $150. It’s a fourth-degree felony if the value is over $150, or if the offender was previously convicted of the charge.

Tampering carries similar penalties. Tampering is defined as “to interfere with, damage or bypass a utility meter, conduit or attachment with intent to impede the correct registration of a meter or proper function of a conduit or attachment.”

Conviction can mean from six months in jail and a $1,000 fine to five years in jail and $2,500 fine. Meter tampering costs all of us. It costs the cooperative and it costs you. It is also dangerous.

If you witness someone tampering with their electric meter, contact your co-op office. Stealing electricity is a crime and anyone caught violating the law will be prosecuted.