Ameren plans to install 780,000 smart meters during the next decade. Spokesman Leigh Morris says that could save users money, since they will be able to track their daily usage. The smart meters would also improve the way Ameren locates power failures, an improvement from the way it currently does it, Morris says.
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“So what do you have to do? You have to call Ameren Illinois and tell us your power is still out,” Morris says. “If you had an AMI meter, we would have known it, gotten it, gotten it repaired and you would have got home and your power would be on.” Ameren plans to pay for the upgrades by raising rates. That is part of a broader plan for a smart-grid start-up that was approved by lawmakers in November.