Entergy Arkansas will begin installing new network equipment on electric poles and structures in September. The project is part of the company’s plan to bring advanced meters to homes and businesses, according to a news release.
The multi-year project is underway with the design and build of the communications network and IT systems taking place over the past two years. Advanced meters will begin to be installed in 2019 with projected completion in 2021, according to the release.
“Outages identified more accurately. Faster outage restoration response times. Billing and service questions answered more efficiently. Potential energy saving tools for customers. These are all benefits of Entergy Arkansas’ vision for a smarter energy future, through the company’s deployment of advanced metering,” according to the release.
Laura Landreaux is Entergy Arkansas president and chief executive officer.
“The PSC’s forward-thinking commissioners have approved our plan to install advanced meters at the homes and businesses we serve throughout Arkansas,” Landreaux said. “These meters represent not only the foundation for building grid modernization technologies, but also our ongoing commitment to providing the best possible service, safely and securely to our communities.”
According to the news release, benefits of upgrading to advanced meters include:
• New online tools will be available to customers that help them better understand and manage energy usage more effectively, which can lead to energy usage reduction and potentially lower bills.
• No more waiting until the end of the month to review energy usage. Via the online tools, customers can log into their account and view how much electricity has been used the day prior, shown in 15-minute increments.
• With better information, Entergy Arkansas can answer customers’ billing and service questions more quickly and effectively, improving customer service.
• The company will have a clearer real-time picture of the power grid and how it is operating. Outages can be identified more accurately, so crews can arrive on the scene more quickly to make repairs.
• Advanced metering is digital technology that enables secure two-way communication between the customer and Entergy Arkansas. Each meter is equipped with a network radio. The radio transmits meter readings to the electric network access point, housed on an electric pole near the meter. This data is then transmitted to the utility through a secure cellular network. Once a customer’s meter is installed, they may access their online account to view daily energy use, displayed in 15-minute increments. Advanced metering also brings opportunities for potential new programs that can help further reduce customers’ energy usage and better support environmentally sustainable communities.
Learn more about the company’s vision for a smarter energy future in Arkansas by visiting energyfuturearkansas.com – view the installation schedule, watch a video that explains more about advanced metering, and more.