Automatic Meter Reading
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) refers to the technology used for automating collection of water and energy (electricity or gas) consumption data for the purposes of real-time billing and consumption analysis. At any given time, the AMR system gathers real-time data and transfers the information gathered to the central database through networking technology.
Both consumers and service providers can benefit from the advantages of implementing AMR, including more accurate and timely measurements of usage, leak detection and better usage information that can help consumers understand and optimize their behavior. In addition, AMR helps service providers to lower their costs because of a decrease in manpower and other resource requirements to collect the data necessary to create a bill.
AMR is not a new technology, but advances in communication technology continue to improve on how it is implemented. Early versions of AMR include handheld devices that can be pointed at meters at a distance, or radio transmitters that can broadcast to collection receivers that are mounted in vehicles. This made a vast improvement from the old days of meter readers fighting off the dogs to look at a meter.
Now with the latest advances in communication technology, automatic meter reading can be cost-effectively implemented at a new level, and provide many additional benefits to the community beyond meter reading. Instead of having drive-by or walk-by meter readers, a fixed AMR system can be deployed that provides the capability to get on-demand data from the meters, allowing the system to be used for leak, theft and meter tampering detection. Fixed AMR also eliminates the need for vehicles and manpower for data collection. These resources can be reassigned to the more important responsibilities of customer service, repair and maintenance of the system.