Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer
  • What is AMI technology and what are the benefits?

    Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology is an integrated system of modern electric meters, communications networks, and data management systems that enables two-way communication between utilities and customers.  The two-way communication allows Cleco Power to remotely record energy usage, connect and disconnect service, detect tampering, identify outages and monitor voltage.  The advanced meters also lay the foundation for energy-saving technology such as usage alerts and time-of-use pricing.
  • When did Cleco Power implement AMI technology?

    Cleco Power began replacing its analog meters with advanced meters for residential, commercial and industrial customers in February 2011 after receiving approval from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC).  The system-wide upgrade was completed in July 2013. 

  • With all the automation, how does Cleco Power know if there’s a problem with a meter?

    Cleco Power’s metering department regularly tests and inspects its meters to ensure they are accurately recording and communicating customers’ meter readings and power outages (if any).  Because of the technology and routine monitoring of meter communications and events, Cleco Power is made aware of meter failures.  Prior to AMI, any problems with meters were normally detected on the customer’s monthly read date or when a customer called to report an issue.  Cleco Power’s meter accuracy rate is very high at 99.95 percent based on annual periodic testing.


  • Since deployment, have there been any issues with the advanced meters?

    Cleco Power has been using AMI technology for almost 10 years.  As AMI technology continues to evolve, the metering department works with vendors and other utilities to identify best-practices and address any issues.  To-date, Cleco Power has not experienced any widespread accuracy issues with its advanced meters.  However, in 2016, the company did recognize an increase in meter failures due to a manufacturing issue which caused some customers’ bills to be estimated the month of the failure, depending on when it occurred.  The company was able to accurately measure usage; however, due to the manufacturing issue, the readings weren’t being received remotely.  The manufacturer has since upgraded its meter design, and the company has put new processes in place to quickly identify and replace faulty meters.

  • Do you use contractors to inspect and test the advanced meters?

    Cleco Power has its own specialized metering technicians.  They perform thousands of periodic and random inspections and accuracy tests on the advanced meters yearly.  
  • Will my power go out during an inspection or meter change out?

    In order to accurately test or change out an active meter, the meter must be manually disconnected.As a result, service at the location will be without power until the onsite test or meter change is complete which usually takes a few minutes.Cleco Power’s metering technicians will knock on the door of the premise in an attempt to notify the customer and allow time for the customer to prepare for the power interruption.If the customer cannot accept the brief power outage at that time, the technicians will propose a later date to perform the test.

  • If Cleco can read my meter remotely, why did I receive an estimated bill?

    Although AMI technology allows Cleco Power to retrieve a customer’s meter reading remotely, the company will estimate a customer’s usage if the meter has not communicated a reading on the read date.  While usage estimates are a normal practice among all utilities, it’s usually limited to a small number of accounts each month.  Cleco Power receives meter readings from 95 percent of its meters on a daily basis, and there are procedures in place to identify system- and meter-related issues that may cause a bill to be estimated. 

  • What if my bill shows that my usage was estimated?

    If a customer’s electricity usage is estimated, there will be a 1 under the Read Code on the bill.  To estimate a customer’s usage in a billing cycle (typically 30 days), Cleco Power’s billing department looks at the historical usage patterns, including the electricity used the previous month and the same time period last year.  Usage can be overestimated or underestimated.  However, inaccuracies from estimated usage normally automatically correct themselves after an actual reading is retrieved which is usually the next time the meter is read or the next billing cycle.  Thus, a bill adjustment due to estimated usage, whether over or under, is most often not necessary because once communication with the meter is re-established, the actual reading retrieved corrects the problem.

  • Even though an actual meter reading corrects the problem, are there times when bills are adjusted due to overestimated or underestimated usage?

    Yes.  Although estimated readings ultimately get corrected when an actual meter reading is obtained, a customer’s bill may need to be adjusted if a customer’s bill is estimated for consecutive months and the situation is undetected.  In this circumstance, Cleco Power’s billing department will make the adjustment based on the actual reading and notify the customer. 

  • What about when my power is out due to a storm? Am I being billed for the days I was without power and why did I receive an estimated bill?

    If a customer loses power after severe weather such as a tornado or hurricane, the customer’s meter doesn’t have power, and the meter will not record any usage or communicate any meter readings until the power is restored.If a customer’s meter is due to be read during the time the power is out, Cleco Power’s billing system will estimate the customer’s usage for the days there was no reading from the meter. Once power is restored, the meter will resume recording energy usage and report daily meter readings. Any inaccuracies from estimated usage will automatically correct themselves after an actual reading is retrieved from the meter and will be reflected in the next billing cycle.Thus, a bill adjustment due to estimated usage, whether over or under, is typically not necessary because once communication with the meter is re-established, the actual reading retrieved corrects the problem.