Meter Replacement FAQ - General

Can anyone other than Golden Valley electronically read the new meter?

No. The meter and associated communication system are equipped with security features to prevent unauthorized access. All the information and data is stored within the meter and requires special technology to access it. However, the new meter will have a digital display so members can read their own meter on-site if they wish.

Does the meter compromise my privacy?

Golden Valley has taken, and will continue to take, reasonable and appropriate steps to protect sensitive member information.

  • Meters cannot track and record individual appliance usage; instead, the meter records whole-house usage just like your existing meter.
  • Meters do not transmit “personally identifiable information” over the network.
  • Golden Valley will not provide customer contact information or energy use data of its members to any other person/organization for commercial or marketing purposes.
What’s the difference between the new meters and the old meters?

The new meters are digital electronic devices that offer two-way communication. Golden Valley has already deployed several types of meters over the years some of which already transmit meter readings electronically.
The new meters will continue to display the meter reading, but it will be in a digital LED format. The biggest difference is that the new meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed. The module receives the kilowatt-hour (kWh) and demand consumption recorded by the electronics in the meter, and is able to transmit securely this and other system data back to the cooperative’s computers.

Is this a “Smart Meter”?

“Smart Meter” is a term widely used in marketing and by the media. Similar to the term “Smart Phone”, it can be used to describe a variety of different technology and functionality, but it doesn’t accurately reflect what product is being used or the functions that are available on that device. For example, a “Smart Phone” could be referring to a Blackberry, iPhone or Android, and the services or “apps” available on each phone are unique to each user. In that same light, not all “Smart Meters” are the same.

Golden Valley is installing Aclara (formerly GE) 2-way meters and Silver Spring Networks technology that will allow for on demand consumption information, outage detection and remote connect/disconnect capability. Meters cannot track and record individual appliance usage; instead the meter records whole-house usage, just like your existing meter.

How much is this going to cost?

There is no rate increase anticipated in association with this project. Upgrading equipment on our system is part of our regularly scheduled system maintenance budget and Golden Valley actually anticipates a savings from increased efficiency and reduced truck rolls for meter reading and service connections of meters.

What information does the new meter record?

The new meter records kilowatt-hour (kWh) readings, interval usage, the date and time of energy usage, voltage, temperature, the overall peak demand of the electric account, the number of times the meter has experienced a loss of power for any reason.

How does the new metering work and how will they be read?

With the new meters, Golden Valley can read the meters from our main office. Information from the meter is securely transmitted back to the co-op via a private GVEA datalink. The meter will also transmit information that will tell us more about the power quality at your location by sending alerts for outages, blinks, voltage problems and tampering. This information helps us provide more reliable service to you. Transmitting this information electronically means that a meter reader no longer needs to travel to the different areas of our service territory to collect readings. However, we will still need to periodically access your property for maintenance and safety checks.