Full-scale automated meter reading was introduced across Missouri in the 1990s. At the time, AmerenUE’s million-meter project was the largest implementation of network meter reading in the U.S. Beginning in the first quarter of 2010, it will allow customers for the first time to see their energy usage on a daily basis via the Energy Savings Toolkit.
With automated meters in place, AmerenUE is participating in the development of technology that gives customers near-real-time energy information, such as usage and cost. In a pilot program called the Personal Energy Manager conducted during the summer of 2009, AmerenUE used existing automated meters and participants’ broadband Internet connections to show residential customers how much energy they were using virtually on the spot.
Participants also had the option of installing a programmable thermostat to allow them to remotely control their home temperatures through the Internet and, depending on their participation elections, to take advantage of “energy pricing events.” During these events, AmerenUE actually adjusted the temperature in a customer’s home during a peak usage period to conserve energy, while providing the customer with the ability to override these adjustments.
AmerenUE is reviewing the results of the pilot and planning for a broader launch of this program in 2010 .