- Member Impact
- Rural Connect
Meter technologies have transformed electric utilities over the last two decades. Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) gives utility managers a window into how and where its customers are using electricity and the information they need to avoid outages. When outages do occur, real-time communications between the utility and field staff ensure the swiftest path to energy restoration.
The result is reliable power to the rural homes NRTC members serve. But there are additional benefits to electricity users. Utility data refreshed several times a day enhances utility/energy-user communications through social media, business analysis, public awareness campaigns, and other features. Managed services further improve electric cooperatives’ options.
For example, cooperatives could choose not to build AMI infrastructure, but pay to have electric usage reports in their service areas. Or the utility could own the infrastructure, but contract with NRTC partners to handle network maintenance and management. With the best technology and the right business plan for the utility, the community comes out ahead.
NRTC and its industry partners build wireless AMI networks. We can integrate several different brands of utility meters into the network that connects user homes and businesses to wireless base stations. Radios operate in the licensed 900 MHz band to protect from interference.
Each base station comes with features including integrated climate controls to maintain reliability in hot and cold weather and flexible wall- or pole-mounting to facilitate base station placement in the optimal spot.
NRTC and its partners have the experts on staff to work with cooperatives and design the most efficient wireless network. Then it offers the software tools that allow the cooperative to keep track of all its technical and human assets in the field.
Workforce management systems linked to each utility vehicle can be money-saving for regular maintenance schedules and crucial tools when recovering from a hurricane or other natural disaster.
NRTC also can provide GPS navigators for every utility vehicle integrated with the cooperative’s GIS data for instant location of all network elements.