The Arkansas Public Service Commission has approved the investment in advanced metering for the homes and businesses we serve. Meter installations at homes and businesses will begin in 2019 with expected completion by the end of 2021. About three months before your advanced meter is installed, you will be provided additional information.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions with answers.
What is an advanced meter?
Entergy Arkansas is about to roll out a new digital, advanced metering and communications system. The new meters are "advanced" because they record usage in 15-minute increments and can communicate with us on a two way-basis via a new secure wireless communication network.
The majority of utilities across the United States have installed advanced meters. Advanced meters will provide a number of future benefits, including new online tools to help you better manage your energy usage and potentially save money on your bills, improved customer service due to the deeper level of insight into your energy usage, quicker and more accurate detection of outages, reduced costs due to the elimination of on-site meter reading, faster detection of electricity theft, and faster connection and disconnection of service.
Why am I receiving an advanced meter?
Entergy Arkansas is committed to continuous improvement of its systems and services, and the introduction of advanced meters is the first step toward modernizing and building a smarter energy future for our customers. We have studied the costs and benefits of advanced metering. We believe this system will reduce some of our current meter reading and operational costs, benefits that will be delivered to you to offset some of the costs of this investment. This system will enable us to provide new products and services to you that will enable you to reduce your monthly bill and manage your energy usage more efficiently. The Arkansas Public Service Commission agreed with our proposal and has approved the deployment of advanced metering for all of our customers.
Is there a cost for the meter?
Beginning in January 2018, your bill has included a small amount to recover the costs we incur in preparation for upgrading to the advanced metering infrastructure, including the meters and communication system. The savings in our operational costs will be used to offset some of the new system costs. Over time, we believe the potential benefits will far outweigh the overall costs of meter deployment. We will be providing you with new programs and services that help put more control in your hands to better manage and reduce your monthly electric usage.
Do I have to get a new advanced meter?
If you do not want an advanced meter, you will have the opportunity to "opt-out" of receiving your meter upgrade. Customers who choose to "opt-out" will incur a one-time service and administration fee of $63.50, in addition to a monthly manual meter-reading fee of $21.80, which will be added to your monthly bill. Because the older, analog meters do not capture and transmit interval usage information, opt-out customers will not have access to their detailed energy usage data or be eligible to participate in some future programs that might be helpful in further managing your electric bill.
Customer satisfaction is our utmost priority. We believe that advanced meters will offer tremendous benefits to our customers; however, should you be unsure about the meter or have further questions, we are happy to answer them. Please call us at 1-800-ENTERGY.
When will I receive my advanced meter?
Installation of the meters will begin in 2019 with expected completion in 2021. View the schedule by quarter on this site. The schedule is subject to change over the course of our multi-year deployment. Customers will receive more information approximately three months before their meters are installed. Click here to view the schedule.
What can I expect during installation?
Prior to your new meter, you will receive a notification from Entergy Arkansas letting you know when the upgrade will take place. The actual installation process should take about 15 minutes, but may result in a momentary loss of power. Before beginning, the installer will knock on your door so you can be prepared for any brief electric outages.
Should you have any concerns about the upgrade or loss of power, please let your installer know when he or she arrives. If there is no one at the premise, the installer will simply upgrade your meter. If the installer cannot gain access to your meter, a door hanger will be left with more information about how you can schedule your upgrade.
Entergy Arkansas is working with contractors to install advanced meters across the state. Contractors will have a badged I.D., uniform and automobile cling displaying the Entergy logo.
How safe are these meters?
The majority of homes and businesses in the United States currently have advanced meters. They operate by using radio frequency similar to many common devices such as mobile phones and appliances around the home, but at a significantly lower level. Many electronic devices, including your television, microwave, and baby monitor, use radio frequency technology. This technology has been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Communications Commission and World Health Organization.
Is my personal information secure?
Will a meter reader still need to come to my home?
Once the advanced meters in your network are installed, there will be little need for a meter reader to come to your home. Instead, this will be an automated process where we will bill according to your reported energy usage. You may receive a visit on occasion from a field employee to test or maintain equipment.
Will advanced meters be used to remotely turn off service?
Advanced meters will enable Entergy Arkansas to remotely turn service on and off at your premises, making moving in and out of homes easier for our customers. This function can also be used to handle accounts with unresolved payment issues, following the consumer protection regulations that are currently in place for residential service.