LG&E hoping to soon implement new meters that would provide real-time data

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LG&E customers could soon have power over their utility bills. The company wants to replace all electric meters with Advanced Meters.

"It communicates on real time basis to our systems," said David Huff with LG&E. "And we can also provide customers with much more detailed info about their usage."

Instead of a worker coming out to read your meter every month, your usage would be beamed to you in 15-minute intervals every day.

"You can look at or see what's going on with different behaviors or equipment in your house using electricity to make more informed decisions," Huff said.

Huff said customers can access that information through their dashboards on their smartphones, laptops or tablets. It even lets customers customize their accounts, showing when you're going out of town or have guests.

"Today we don't know if there's an outage unless a customer picks up the phone and calls us," Huff said. "With an advanced meter, it knows whether it has electricity or not."

The switch would potentially allowing LG&E to restore power faster. So what's the downside? Huff said that while customers who want the meters will only see their bills go up about $2 max, those who opt out will have to pay $58 for a set-up fee and a monthly fee of about $23 per month.

"We will still have to employ meter readers," Huff said. "We'll still have to employ the legacy types of meters, keep them in inventory. We'll still have to keep those systems up."

The bottom line, he said, is that the more customers who buy, the more everyone saves. 

"Our goal would be that everybody gets a meter," Huff said. "It helps us better run our system, better respond to outages (and) give better service." 

The Kentucky Public Service still has to approve the plan. If it does, LG&E hopes to install 1.3 million advanced meters to every customer across the state within the next three years.

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