Superior Water, Light and Power
Superior Water, Light and Power begins installation of advanced meters
Project will enhance customer service

June 5, 2017

Superior Water, Light and Power's plan to replace analog meters with advanced digital meters takes a big step forward this month (April).

SWL&P, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE Inc. (NYSE:ALE), began installing the meters mid-April in the Billings Park area of Superior. The new meters will give customers more control over their energy and water use and their bills, minimize monthly visits to homes and businesses, and improve billing. Meter replacements will continue through October in other neighborhoods.

The work is part of a five-year plan to deploy Advanced Metering Infrastructure, commonly referred to as AMI, a reliable and proven technology that has been widely used across the country for nearly a decade. SWL&P is installing the new meters in phases throughout its service territory. The first ones were installed in 2016 and more than 30,000 will be installed by the end of 2020. The advanced meters will also improve safety and reliability through leak, outage, and safety notifications that will help SWL&P more quickly alert customers and restore service.

"We're excited for our customers to receive improved electric, gas, and water meters. These new meters will virtually eliminate the need for us to estimate a portion of our monthly billing, something we've historically had to rely on. The AMI project is a great service enhancement and we are excited to be able to offer it to our customers," said Rob Sandstrom, SWL&P manager customer excellence.

The new meters will also open options for energy conservation and efficiency incentives that customers can't access with older meters.

"Customers will be able to see how they use electricity, natural gas and water in a way that helps them make well-informed decisions about their usage and potentially save energy and money," Sandstrom said.

Highlights of the project:

  • Installation of approximately 14,000 AMI electric meters for homes, apartment buildings, and businesses. SWL&P's goal is to replace all electric meters with AMI technology in 2017.
  • Installation of about 2,500 AMI natural gas and water meters. Many of these meters are inside homes and appointments will be necessary to complete the upgrade. Affected customers will be notified approximately two weeks in advance.
  • Because SWL&P provides electric, natural gas and water service, some customers will get as many as three new meters as part of the overall project.
  • Contractors will wear SWL&P vests and carry SWL&P identification badges; their trucks will also have SWL&P signage. Upgrades will be completed during daytime hours on weekdays with the potential for after-hours or weekend work as needed.
  • SWL&P is partnering with Minnesota Power as an ALLETE affiliate to minimize operational and overhead costs. These cost savings are achieved through sharing information technology, communication infrastructure, and administrative support functions.

Customers who have questions can call the project hotline at 1-877-642-2373 or visit the dedicated website at www.swlp.com/meterupgrade.
"We're confident that customers will appreciate the next level of services this project will provide," said Deb Amberg, SWL&P president. "AMI technology will empower our customers with information and by installing the new meters we will improve how we deliver energy and water."

Superior Water, Light and Power provides electricity, water and natural gas in the city of Superior and adjacent areas in northwestern Wisconsin. The company has served the area since 1889 and provides services to approximately 14,000 electric customers, 12,000 natural gas customers and 10,000 water customers. More information can be found at www.swlp.com.

The statements contained in this release and statements that ALLETE may make orally in connection with this release that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and investors are directed to the risks discussed in documents filed by ALLETE with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rob Sandstrom, Manager - Customer Excellence

For more information:

Superior Water, Light and Power

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