PARIS WEATHER

Lamar Electric: Will SmartHub show daily electric usage?

The short answer is yes and no.

Normally any Lamar Electric residential member can link our SmartHub App on their phone to their electric account and view daily usage as well as report an outage, etc. Communication issues at two substations have delayed readings going into SmartHub for accounts connected to those substations.

Each electric meter communicates over the power lines to the substation and our private microwave system is used to download the information from the substation to the office servers. Sometimes there will be a problem with our microwave communications system. Totally unrelated to the winter weather, on Feb. 11, a piece of communications equipment failed at our Marvin Meter Point (similar to a substation). Marvin provides electric service to Marvin, Jennings, Viewpoint, Biardstown, Rockford, Slabtown and parts of Clardy.

Meter readings are stored in each meter for many months. The communications link failed after the meter readings had been downloaded just after midnight, early Feb. 11. Replacement equipment was ordered but has yet to arrive. On Feb. 17, our IT manager was able to scavenge some old parts and was able to get the communications to Marvin restored. On Feb. 18, in the very early hours, meter readings for Marvin were downloaded.

The result of the communications being down means SmartHub showed no usage for Feb. 11-16 for all meters on Marvin Meter Point, until the reading yesterday morning. When the Thursday reading was downloaded, SmartHub filled in the blank days with the average usage during those five days.

For example, if your meter reading was 66458 on Feb. 11 before 1 a.m. and your meter reading was 67282 when it was downloaded early Thursday morning before 1 a.m., the total usage for those six days would be 824 kWh. SmartHub would have divided 824 by six and starting showing 137 kWh for each of those six days.

On Feb. 15, a feeder breaker failed at the Cooper/Enloe substation when it was time to restore power after a rolling blackout. After a lot of effort to repair the breaker, at 12:05 p.m., a method was developed to restore power to the circuit receiving power from the failed feeder breaker, by diverting the circuit through a different feeder breaker. This change restored power to folks blacked out since 5:46 a.m. and placed them on the same feeder breaker that serves several natural gas compressor stations (serving some very large generating plants). No more rolling blackouts for them.

The communications link to the electric meters that were switched to a different feeder was disrupted when power was restored. After several days, the communications system was able to re-route communications from these meters and begin to report a meter reading to SmartHub. This interruption in communications created the exact same situation for a few days as was described above at Marvin.

No communication problems that would affect SmartHub were experienced at any other Substations.

Regardless of the temporary delay of usage information going to SmartHub, the actual hourly usage was recorded at every meter. If you wish to know exactly how much your kWh usage was for any particular day, contact our office and we can give you that information, all the way down to hourly information if you wish. For members connected to Marvin, give us a few days to complete the massive hourly data downloads.

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