As is the case in most industries, technology evolves and new methods and equipment are utilized. For MLGW, obsolescence has prompted the move to digital meters. Meter manufacturers no longer produce the dial-faced analog meters used for more than a century by the electric industry to record usage. Instead, manufacturers have all switched to producing meters that have a digital face.
There are two types now available: digital and smart. On the outside, smart meters and digital meters look the same, with an easy-to-read digital display, but smart meters also have built-in communications and programming to gather and send meter information remotely.
So, how reliable is the new technology? Ninety-nine percent reliable. Consistent with industry studies, during the Smart Grid Demonstration, MLGW retired less than one percent of their Smart Meters due to failure from power surges and/or lightning strikes. Additionally, MLGW's digital electric meters have a one percent failure rate, indicating that smart meters--which are digital meters with built-in communications--are no less susceptible to failure than MLGW's standard electric meters.