Wake Forest, NC— Wake Electric has recently unveiled two new programs, the Monitor & Manage program, an online energy monitoring system that utilizes Wake Electric’s “smart grid” communications network to collect monthly, daily and hourly energy data reports from each home, and PowerUp, a prepaid billing option for residential members designed to optimize payment flexibility. Both programs were made possible through the meter exchange Wake Electric is currently undergoing.
Wake Electric is in the process of upgrading existing electric meters to new, electronic meters that use advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology. These new AMI meters store electric use, outage and voltage information, as well as communicate it back to the co-op office through a secure, wireless communication network. But most importantly, the new AMI meters are what give members access to daily energy usage reports online through the Monitor & Manage program, allowing members to better evaluate and manage their energy consumption.
The energy usage data collected through the Monitor & Manage program will be available to all members free of charge by the end of 2012, allowing them to make more informed decisions about energy usage. Currently, Wake Electric has upgraded more than 14,837 meters, so those members with new AMI meters can already begin monitoring their energy usage online through the Monitor & Manage web portal.
These new meters will also help the co-op locate and restore outages more quickly, and enhance power quality and reliability through better voltage and system load monitoring.
In addition, the AMI meters are read electronically, which will eliminate the need for technicians to make monthly property visits to conduct meter reads. Electronic meter reads also improve reading accuracy and eliminate estimated bills due to inaccessible meters or inclement weather.
The new AMI meters also give residential members access to PowerUp, a pay-as-you-go billing option. PowerUp allows members to take control of their account by permitting them to pay for only the amount of electricity they want, when they want to pay for it.
Members can prepay anticipated charges a full month in advance, or pay just enough to get them through the next week. By pre-purchasing their electricity, members can plan their budget and monitor their electricity usage more closely.
Members participating in PowerUp are automatically notified via phone and email when their account gets low on funds. They can then simply reload their account and can see how far they can stretch those dollars before making their next payment.
The benefits for members switching to a prepaid electricity account include no deposit, no late fees, trip charges or reconnect fees, and no cost to switch to the PowerUp rate. The prepaid account also gives members the ability to use existing deposits for down payments at conversion, move delinquent balances into a prepay arrangement, and view electric usage, payment history and credit balances online.
For more information, please visit www.wemc.com/powerup.aspx.
Wake Electric continues to look for better ways to serve its members by leveraging technology to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity.