Automated Meter Reading, or AMR, allows utility companies to automatically collect data, diagnostic, and consumption data from water or energy metering devices. Once the data are collected, they can be transferred to a central database for troubleshooting, analysis, and billing. AMR affords utility service providers and billing companies a number of advantages.
Automated Meter Reading tracks usage in near real-time consumptions rates rather than on estimates based on past or predicted consumption. As a result, utility providers and customers are better able to control the use and production of their energy and water usage. For instance, if a consumer is aware of when he/she uses the most electricity, the person has the option of turning off non-essential equipment as a means of saving electricity usage and, ultimately, cost.
Since all data are collected remotely, utility service providers do not need to send meter readers to the actual physical locations at which each meter resides. Therefore, utility companies do not have to pay meter readers for the time it would take to travel, collect data, and enter that information into the central database. This lowers costs for the utility companies and the customers.
AMR offers much more accurate consumption reports than tradition meter reading methods. As a result, billing is more precise. Traditional billing was based on estimated usage, but AMR allows for real-time and actual usage, so utility providers can bill for what a customer has really consumed. Additionally, automated meter reading can provide outage detection and tamper detection. Utility companies are able to respond to such issues more efficiently than they could before.
As more companies move to AMR, service providers will be able to offer customized packages for the customers. The amount of data collected through AMR makes billing customers not only more efficient and transparent, but also it creates space for consumers to tailor the data they receive to their needs.
Overall, automated meter reading saves time and money, offers increased customer satisfaction, and ensures more accurate billing and data analysis. By using AMR, utility service providers can expect a good rate of return on their investment.