First installation today at a Habitat for Humanity home in St. Charles, part of larger plan to build a smarter, stronger, cleaner energy grid for families and businesses
ST. LOUIS, MO (STL.News) St. Charles residents will begin seeing utility crews in their neighborhoods as Ameren Missouri starts to upgrade electric smart meters. This is the first step in a multi-year project to upgrade 1.2 million electric meters and 130,000 gas modules throughout Ameren Missouri’s service territory.
“With a new smart meter, customers will get more precise energy use information to help them better understand how and when they use energy, which can help them use it more efficiently,” said Jeff Esserman, director of the smart meter program at Ameren Missouri. “They will be able to choose from a range of expanded rate options, which will offer flexibility to pay less when using energy during off-peak hours, when demand for energy is lower.”
Upgraded smart meters also will improve reliability thanks to two-way communication between the updated grid and the new meters. This capability allows Ameren Missouri to “talk” to the meters and quickly identify if a location has lost power, pinpoint the problem, and fix it faster.
Ameren Missouri will install 120,000 smart meters throughout much of St. Charles County over the next several months, then expand upgrades into St. Louis City and other regions of the state. Customers will begin receiving notifications a few months in advance to inform them of their scheduled installation timeframe and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
A remodeled Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County home was the first St. Charles residence to receive an upgraded smart meter, preparing the family for a bright energy future. The upgraded meter will provide energy usage information they can use to shift their energy usage habits and potentially save on their bill.
“We work to build affordable and sustainable housing for our families, and look for ways to make them energy efficient to reduce homeowners’ monthly costs,” said Michelle Woods, Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County. “We appreciate that Ameren Missouri is thinking about how smart meters and other technologies can help customers manage their energy use better.”
“Our installers have Ameren Missouri ID badges and to keep everyone safe, they will practice social distancing measures,” said Esserman. “Since our crews will be working outside, you don’t need to worry about being present during the installation. It will take less than 20 minutes to switch your meter.”
Ameren Missouri expects to complete the installation of smart meters for all Missouri customers by 2025. More information about the smart meter installation and time of use rate options is available at AmerenMissouri.com/SmartMeters.
Investing in Smart Energy
The new smart meters are part of Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan, which includes thousands of electric projects to prepare for the region’s future energy needs. The current five-year plan will invest $7.6 billion in continued grid modernization while building upon successes from the first year.
“We identified projects that will provide more reliable, affordable energy for our customers, and help reduce carbon emissions to benefit our environment,” said Marty Lyons, president at Ameren Missouri. “Through these efforts, we are building a cleaner, stronger energy grid that will serve our region’s changing energy needs for decades to come.”
Ameren Missouri’s Smart Energy Plan 2019 highlights:
- 900+ projects completed
- 9,000 new storm resilient utility poles installed
- 13 new or upgraded substations completed to serve growing communities and improve reliability
- 180+ smart switches installed, which can reduce an outage from hours to seconds by re-routing power
- 30,000 hours of avoided outages in 2020 for customers with upgraded smart switches
- $8 million in customer solar rebates allocated
Learn more about Ameren Missouri’s smart energy initiatives at AmerenMissouri.com/SmartEnergyPlan.