Riverside Public Utilities
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Learn all about RPU's current projects.

Advanced Meter Program

Our program will give you secure access to your energy usage information to help you manage your energy use. Advanced meters enhance our system; they are designed to improve our reliability and outage response times.



About this Project - The Facts

What is advanced metering?

Advanced meters allow two-way communication between a customer’s meter and the utility. The meter can transmit near real-time information about energy usage because it communicates with a network that manages the data received from the meter. The network then transmits the information to the appropriate end-points: billing and utility operations as well as directly to the customer portal for viewing. Eventually, this program will also be for available water meters, but for now we are deploying electric advanced meters first.

Why are we installing advanced meters?

Improves Customer Service
  • Provides you with up-to-date information to manage your energy usage.
  • Eliminates utility staff from visiting your home or business to read the meter.
  • Hassle-free transfer of service; eliminates the need for appointments to turn service on or off.
  • Faster response times because the meter will notify us when you do not have power or if there is a problem with the circuit that feeds your neighborhood or business.
  • Ensure accurate billing.
Reduces RPU Operational Costs
  • Less home and business visits will eliminate manual meter readers, saving time and money.
  • Streamlines the billing process, by using the latest data management technology.
  • Data received allows RPU to proactively analyze and manage the distribution system, leading to less outages and higher reliability.

How and when will the program start?

The Advanced Metering Program will begin installing electric meters in 2019 and will continue until the meter upgrades are completed. Because we began installing new digital meters a few years ago, we are going to save money by using most of the existing meters to continue to collect data. However, some customers will receive a brand new meter. We will then add the network components needed for data gathering and distribution to a customer portal, to billing, and to our operations center.

Meter installations will happen in phases over time to evaluate and ensure functionality. Ultimately this project will be implemented citywide, covering RPU's entire service area. In short, we are starting with changing out 100 meters and grow to 25,000 and will eventually cover our entire service area.

What to Expect

  • You will receive a letter from Riverside Public Utilities with information that will let you know when we will need to access your meter. You do not have to contact us in advance to schedule an appointment.
  • On the day of your meter upgrade, a utility representative will attempt to notify you before beginning work. Each installer will be dressed in uniform, have RPU signage on their vehicle and possess a valid photo identification badge.
  • The electric upgrade will take approximately 15-minutes under normal conditions and may cause a brief interruption in service. If you were not present when the meter was changed, a door hanger will be left behind after our visit with information on the work performed.

Project Costs and Benefits

The project was approved with our 5 year capital improvement plan. Costs include the meters, related equipment, and software. For more detailed information, review the Board of Public Utilities Report and Presentation.

More information about the benefits of Advanced Meters.

AMI Business Case Summary


What is an advanced meter?
An advanced meter wirelessly delivers meter readings and important service notifications to the utility.

How can I identify meter installers?
Representatives will have RPU signage on their vehicles, be dressed in uniform and possess a valid photo identification badge. You will receive a letter in the mail letting you know we will be in your neighborhood.

How long will it take to upgrade my meter?
Each installation should take approximately 15-minutes under normal conditions.

Will utility services be disconnected during the meter upgrade process?
A brief interruption of service may be experienced during the upgrade.

Do I need to be home for the meter replacement?
No, it is not necessary for you to be at home during the meter upgrade. When the meter installer arrives to replace the meter, he or she will attempt to inform you prior to beginning work. If you are not at home, a door hanger will be left providing information.

How will the meter installation date be scheduled?
You do not have to contact us in advance to schedule an appointment. You will receive a letter from Riverside Public Utilities with information that will let you know when we will need access to your meter.

How do I know if my meter’s been upgraded?
A door hanger will be left behind after the meter installer’s visit indicating if your meter was successfully upgraded.

Will there still be meter readers in my neighborhood?
Yes. There will still be meter readers in your neighborhood to read water and electric meters until all of our meters are upgraded.

Are the radio frequencies from Advanced Meters safe?
Yes they are safe, as shown in the chart below. Please note, advanced meters are not “awake” 24 hours a day; they only send signals when programmed to read the usage (which will be once a day).

How is the information sent from the meter to the utility?
Communication devices have been installed throughout the city in order to collect usage data from each advanced meter. These devices act as a router to provide long-range communications coverage in hard-to-reach locations and over challenging terrain which ensures reliable communications from the advanced meter to the utility. The communication devices installed are NOT the same as 5G Towers and are considered the backbone of the AMI network.

See additional information pertaining to the communication devices:

LAN Router
Versacomms Gateway

Is the information sent from the meter to the utility safe and secure?
The only data sent from the meter to the utility is the meter identification number and the usage data. No personal information is sent through this process. View the AMI privacy statement in the City policy.

What if I would rather have a regular meter?
At this time, you are allowed to opt-out from having an advance meter without any charges to your bill. You will miss out on the benefits of learning your usage and being able to predict your bill costs based on past information. California’s standard for metering is now advanced meters. The California Public Utilities Commission has determined that those customers who choose the non-standard service should pay the costs for non-standard service. The cost covers manual meter reading and associated operational and billing activities. Eventually, RPU customers that opt-out may ultimately be charged a monthly fee.

How does RPU use my energy-use data?
Advanced meters transmit only two types of information to us: the amount of electricity you use and when you use it. We use this information to ensure that your monthly bill is accurate and to manage and optimize the electricity grid that serves Riverside.

Will my personal information be shared?
No. Your privacy is important to us, and your energy usage data will never be shared without your permission or request. We maintain strict confidentiality and privacy policies and use state-of-the-art technology to safeguard your information.

What if I have additional questions?
If you have any other questions about the advanced meter upgrades, please email AMI-Inquiry@riversideca.gov or contact Riverside Public Utilities at (951) 782-0330.