Ameren Illinois has announced a $625m plan to install about 780000 new electric meters over the next decade in a proposal submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Energy Business Review reports that the plan forms part of the utility’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiative where smart meters would eliminate the requirement of meter readers.

The smart meters support a number of energy management tools and give customers the option of purchasing power at hourly prices that are based on market prices.

Customers can also participate in future peak time rebate programs that offer incentives to reduce power usage during times of high electric demand, typically during the summer months.

The advanced meters use radio waves to transmit data and can help identify distribution line and transformer overload issues that can be corrected before an outage occurs.

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