Beginning in May 2018, the City of Milford, in partnership with our wholesale power provider Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC), and American Municipal Power, Inc (AMP), will begin installing new smart meters on all electric and water service connections served by the City. The $2.4 million project is funded through the water, sewer and electric reserve funds and there will be no additional cost to the customer.
City of Milford’s Smart Meter Project Quick Facts
• More efficient water and electric meter reading;
• Organizational efficiencies;
• Reduced operating costs;
• Customer portal with up-to-date utility usage information (coming soon!);
• Increased opportunities for leak detection - reduced waste;
• Outage management improvements - increased reliability;
• Greater in-field operation capabilities.
What is a Smart Meter?
A Smart Meter uses a wireless radio frequency (RF) system to communicate real time records of consumption to the City for monitoring and billing and allows for two-way communication between the central system and the meter.
Why is the City changing meters?
The existing meter reading equipment is obsolete and needs to be upgraded. In facing the upgrade, it made sense for the City to move toward Smart Meter technology, with use allowing for real-time reading of meters. Obtaining up-to-date technology will also provide a better understanding of water and electric usage citywide. Additionally, the new technology will ensure services are reliably provided to customers, ensure potential problems are addressed quickly and efficiently, and reduce costs for both the City and customers.
What are the advantages of switching to smart meters?
Electric: Smart meters allow the City to be better informed of outages, which leads to a quicker response and restoration time. Also, because of real time usage tracking, the City is better able to understand peak times and increased demand on the grid. Being better informed allows the City to notify users and ask that usage is cut back during those peak times. This increases grid reliability and lessens the need to produce more electricity, which can be costly.
Water: Smart meters allow the City to remotely read meters, thus increasing the efficiency of processing readings and billing. Real-time usage tracking allows for better leak detection and understanding of usage habits and how a consumer can reduce their costs. Reducing the occurrence of leaks and unnecessary consumption helps to lower water production costs and strains on the system.
What if I have a medical condition?
Installation of the new meters should take just a few minutes, but please call the City’s Customer Service representatives at 302-422-6616 to discuss your specific situation.
What if I own a business?
A temporary electric service interruption will occur at the time of an electric meter change. In most cases the power will be out approximately 60 seconds, but it could take up to 10 minutes. Water service will not be interrupted during the installation of water meters. We will leave a door hanger notifying you that the work has been complete. If you have any concerns, please contact the City’s Customer Service representatives at 302-422-6616.
What if I have an alarm system?
The outage may cause a disruption or trigger an alarm. It is best to contact your provider and discuss this with them.
How long do you expect it to take to change out all meters?
All meters should be changed out by the end of October 2018.
When will the Smart Meters be installed?
Smart meters will be installed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Installation will begin in the early summer of 2018 installation schedules will be available closer to deployment.
Electric Meter Installation
Will I know when my electric meter is being changed?
Yes. Prior to installation, you will be notified via an automated phone call the week prior to installation. The installer will knock on the front door when they arrive to alert you to a momentary loss of power during the meter exchange. You need not be present during the meter change out.
Does someone need to come into my home to change my meter?
In most cases no, as long as the existing meter is on the exterior of the building and accessible.
Do I need to be home for my electric meter to be changed?
No. As long as your meter is accessible, you need not be home at the time your meter is changed. Meters within enclosed areas, fenced areas or where a dog is present may require the property owner be home to provide access. If we are unable to access the meter, we will leave a door hanger providing you with information to reschedule.
Will my electric service be interrupted during the meter change out process?
Yes. A temporary electric service interruption will occur at the time of meter change. In most cases the power will be out approximately 60 seconds, but it could take up to 10 minutes.
Water Meter Installation
Where is my water meter?
Water meters are located inside the house or business and in some instances, are below ground in concrete or plastic meter boxes with lids. Meter boxes are typically located near the sidewalk or curb or just off the roadway in the yard in front of the house.
Why do water meters need to be replaced?
As with any measuring device, meters can become less accurate as they age. Many water meters are aging and due for replacement.
Will my water service be interrupted during the installation?
No, water service will not be interrupted during the installation.
Do I need to be home for my water meter to be changed?
No. As long as your meter is accessible, you need not be home at the time your meter is changed. Meters within homes, buildings or in enclosed or fenced areas where a dog is present may require the property owner be home to provide access.
General Installation Questions
Will there be any cost to me?
No, there will be no cost to the customer unless you have been contacted by the City to discuss your specific situation.
Who will install my new meter?
In an effort to increase efficiency, the City of Milford has contracted NexgenUSA, who is already trained and proficient in the installation of the meters. Nexgen USA employees will be driving clearly marked trucks and have a City of Milford identification card on their person while working within the city.
Health and Safety
Do wireless Radio Frequency (RF) systems cause any health risk?
Radio Frequency (RF) emitted by smart meters is well below Federal Commutations Commission (FCC) guidelines. The level is actually much lower than that produced by many household items such as microwaves, baby monitors, satellite TV and cell phones.
Radio Frequency Fact Sheet
American Cancer Society Smart Meter FAQs
Myths vs. Facts: The Truth About Smart Meters
Video: The Truth About Smart Meters
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the City of Milford Customer Service Department at 302-422-6616.