Welcome to the My Co-op Empowers Me pages. Here you will find more in-depth information about
the installation and use of "smart meter" technology in New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC)
territory. The My Co-op Empowers Me program consists of two parts, the development of a
Communications Systems Infrastructure (CSI) and the creation of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Both the CSI and the AMI are further explained in the Frequently Asked Questions part of this site.
As a member-owned cooperative, we exist to serve our members as effectively and as efficiently as
possible. The My Co-op Empowers Me program will enable us to better serve you and empower
you with the tools you need to manage your own energy use.
What is a smart meter?
NHEC has replaced all existing member electric meters with "smart meters."" Smart meters look similar
to existing meters but no longer feature spinning dials. They have digital output readings similar to
those on your digital alarm clock or car stereo. These digital readings travel via a wireless
communications network, offering more accurate readings in a more timely fashion. This type of reading
provides members with more detailed information about their energy usage and also provides NHEC with
Traditional electromechanical meters (left) appear quite similar to the new smart meters that are
deployed across NHEC service territory (right). Instead of gears and dials, however, the smart
meters have a digital display and contain a small &fract14; Watt radio that transmits readings a few
times a day.
How do they work?
Think of your smart meter as one link in a big chain. Your meter automatically reports readings
and interval data a few times per day. Each transmission, approximately 1.5 seconds in duration,
can travel up to 1,600 feet. In most cases, your meter will be reporting readings to the next
closest meter, which gathers that data, adds its own readings and moves it along to the next meter
in the chain. Eventually, that bundle of data reaches a gatekeeper. (Repeaters are installed on
existing poles to relay the readings of those meters that are located more than 1,600 feet away
from the closest meter.) Each night, the gatekeepers will transmit their bundles of readings via a
mid-tier radio system to the nearest "takeout point," where the data will be sent back to NHEC
headquarters in Plymouth for processing via one or more of the 20 microwave tower sites that form
the Communications System Infrastructure (CSI). To assure the robustness and security of the system
that carries all this data, NHEC has also installed a 30-mile stretch of fiber optic cable that
connects our Plymouth headquarters to our facility in Meredith, which will provide a back-up
operations center in the event that Plymouth is unavailable.
Why are we upgrading all meters?
As a cooperative, NHEC is committed to bringing the most reliable and efficient service possible to its members.
Our commitments to maximizing member dollars and providing energy-wise solutions have led us to the implementation of the smart meter system.
The smart meter is an ideal tool for members interested in the opportunity for energy and cost
savings. Periodic energy readings will be reported wirelessly throughout the day to NHEC, which means
NHEC no longer needs to send a meter reader to your property. These readings, including hourly usage
charts, are accessible to members via a secure, online portal located on your NHEC account homepage. To
access your account home and View Usage portal, you must register as a new user here:
https://nhec.smarthub.coop/#login. Returning users can
click the View Usage link on their account homepage to access usage data.
Through this portal, members have the opportunity to view their usage patterns and make efficiency or
usage choices that save energy and money. Smart meters can also assist in reporting outages. In the
event of an outage, your smart meter will automatically contact NHEC's 24-hour Control Center. With
more specific information about the location of outages, NHEC crews are able to respond more
efficiently with the goal of getting the power back on sooner. *PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS FEATURE IS NOT
YET AVAILABLE. MEMBERS SHOULD CONTINUE TO CALL IN OUTAGES TO NHEC'S OUTAGE REPORTING LINE: 1-800-343-6432
Click here to learn more about smart grid technology.