[Frequently Asked Questions]

What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is an electric meter equipped with two-way communication technology that provides near real-time meter readings and the secure transfer of customers’ usage information to AEP Ohio for billing and operational purposes. The technology improves billing accuracy and eliminates the need for a meter reader to enter onto a customer’s property.

Why is the current metering system being replaced?

The current electric grid is being upgraded to take advantage of emerging technologies, and offer more benefits to our customers. Smart meters will replace the current meters used in homes to record electric usage, many of which are the older, obsolete analog meters.

Who is getting a smart meter?

AEP Ohio has already installed 132,000 smart meters in select areas of central Ohio as a part of the gridSMART® Demonstration Project. AEP Ohio has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to install about 900,000 additional smart meters throughout its Ohio service territory. In addition, AEP Ohio is upgrading our metering in areas where smart meters are currently technologically not feasible.

How will I benefit from having a smart meter?

Smart meters periodically report usage information to AEP Ohio through a secure wireless communication. The meter provides information to our crews that speeds response times and outage repairs. Since we don’t have to access your property to read the meter, it simplifies the billing process by eliminating estimated bills. It also enables new features that will soon be available to help you manage your energy usage from your smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Will I be getting a smart meter, and if so, when could I expect it?

If you are in an area that is to receive a smart meter, you will be notified via mail and phone within 3 weeks of the installation, and a phone call a few days prior to the meter exchange. There is an interactive map on AEPOhio.com/SmartMeter where you can search by your address for a timeline.

How did we decide who gets a smart meter?

We can achieve the most benefit for customers by installing where meters are more densely grouped. As the technology continues to mature, the vision is that economical deployments will be feasible in more sparsely populated areas.

Will my power be interrupted during the installation?

You will experience a brief power outage when we replace the meter. We expect the power outage to be no longer than a few minutes.

Do I need to be home when you install the new meter?

No. A meter technician will leave a door hanger indicating the result of the meter exchange. Appointments for special circumstances will be handled on a case by case basis.

What is my smart meter display telling me?

Your smart meter shows three separate rotating displays:

  • One display will show whether your electric service is on or off. If it says "CLOSEd" your power is on. If it says "OPEn" your power is disconnected and you should contact the AEP Ohio Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-672-2231.
  • The next display shows your cumulative electric usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This is the amount of energy that has flowed through your meter since it was installed. AEP Ohio uses this information to calculate your bill.
  • The third rotating display, which includes a decimal point, shows the electricity demand reading in kilowatts (kW), which is used for operational purposes (it is not used for calculating your bill).
Will my meter still be read by a meter reader each month?

No, the smart meter enables us to read your meter without setting a foot on your property or disrupting your schedule. We will still periodically perform field and safety audits of AEP Ohio metering and other electric distribution equipment.

How can I access my energy usage?

There are a couple of ways. There is an app you can download called "IT’S YOUR POWERSM." You can also visit AEPOhio.com and register to use a web portal. Both will allow you to see your energy usage, which in turn will help you make decisions on how to save.

How will I know if the meter technician on my property really works for AEP Ohio?

All of our installers will be able to provide proper identification at your request. They will also be driving properly marked vehicles. Both will have the AEP Ohio logo.

Do I need to do anything special to get ready for my new meter?

You will be notified in advance when we will be in your area. Here are some helpful tips to prepare for the upgrade:

  1. 1) Clear Access to Meter. Please be sure there is a clear path to your meter and the area is free of other objects and debris. If you have a locked gate or other restrictions that prevents our technicians from accessing the meter, please be sure to contact the smart meter call center for AEP Ohio at 1-855-872-6446 or email mymeter@aep.com.
  2. 2) Look for our door hanger. Once the meter has been changed, a door hanger will be left indicating we have switched out your meter.
  3. 3) How to know it’s us. For your safety and security all of our technicians will wear uniforms identifying themselves and will be able to produce proper identification. They will be in AEP marked vehicles. These technicians will not need access inside your home and will not ask you for money or other personal information. If you have any questions about who is at your door, please call the smart meter call center for AEP Ohio at 1-855-872-6446.
Will I be billed differently after the meter upgrade?

No, you will continue to be billed as you are today.

What if I don’t want a smart meter?

You can decline a smart meter. Please call 1-855-872-6446 to speak with a customer service representative, or email mymeter@aep.com. Have your address and account information available. Please note that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved a monthly fee of $24 to be charged to you for declining installation of smart meter. If you already have a smart meter installed, there is also a $43 fee to have the meter replaced with a non-emitting meter.

Why are there fees associated with declining a smart meter?

If a smart meter has already been installed on your property, you will be charged a one-time fee of $43 to have that meter replaced with a non-emitting meter. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved a monthly $24 fee for customers who have declined a smart meter. The fee covers the cost of sending a crew out to perform a meter reading. You will begin being assessed the $24 fee once the required written notification that you are declining the smart meter is completed and returned, the meter exchange fee (if required) is paid, and smart meters have been installed in your neighborhood.

What is the White House Green Button initiative, and are we a part of it?

Yes, AEP has joined the Green Button initiative, a joint effort among utilities, technology companies and the federal government to help you save energy and money. Green Button can help you make better energy and usage decisions. Green Button provides a simple, standardized way to download your energy usage information from our website. This information can then be uploaded to compatible energy efficiency applications or shared with energy efficiency consultants and others to help you analyze how you use energy.

Still have smart meter questions? Talk with a smart meter representative at 1-855-872-6446 or email us at mymeter@aep.com. Please note this phone number and email address are for smart meter questions only. For all other questions or issues, please call our Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-672-2231.

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This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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