Smart Meters: How Smart Customers Can Use AMI’s to their Advantage

The Advantages of Advanced Metering Infrastructure for Customers and Utility Providers

Households, companies and countries the world over are concerned about their energy consumption. For some, that’s a climate change issue. The more energy they burn, the bigger their carbon footprint. For others, the issue is cost. Heat and electricity get expensive during cold winters and hot summers. Regardless of motivation, people are turning to Smart Meters. But what are smart meters? And how can they help?

What is a Smart Meter?

A Smart Grid is a collection of transmission lines, substations and transformers that deliver electricity from the power plant to your home or business. Smart Meters, often referred to as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), provide insight into energy consumption. They calculate usage during peak hours, lull periods and compare your usage to other homes or businesses within the area.

What does a Smart Meter Do?

The information a smart meter sends your utility provider may include detailed usage information, voltage monitoring and data. In turn, your utility company may send a smart meter pricing information, pre-pay information, disconnect/reconnect instruction and software upgrades. Some providers may not fully utilize all smart meter functions. As with any “newer” technology, installations within certain areas are tested so improvements can be made before full rollouts are completed.

Smart meters can report back to utility providers with scheduled updates ─ per month, per day or per hour. Viewing the data gathered directly from your computer or your mobile device enables you to manage your usage more efficiently while keeping cost down. And smart meters aren’t limited to electricity. Other meters include smart gas and water meters that provide similar consumption information. Companies adjust costs in accordance to the season and time of day. So what can you do with all that information? Let’s look at the advantages.

Advantages of Smart Meters

With smart meters, utility companies don’t need employees driving to residences each month to read the analog version. This technology also enables them to pinpoint faulty mechanisms and areas affected in a power outage. But how does a smart meter benefit the customer?

As mentioned before, a smart meter provides information that enables customers to manage usage more efficiently while keeping cost down. More broadly though, use of smart meters will reduce energy use by residential and commercial customers alike, which in turn will eliminate the need to build more power plants.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2018, U.S. electric utilities had about 86.8 million advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) installations. About 88% of the AMI installations were residential customer installations.

Smart Decisions

Smart meters help businesses and utility companies better understand the overall use of energy. And, with that better understanding, businesses can eventually save money while utility companies gain the ability to better distribute and manage power. Motus’ role within this ecosystem is as your system integrator. Our Motus team has specific industry knowledge including local and federal regulations, market trends and solutions, Connect with one of our IoT experts today to see how Motus can help your business manage your smart meter initiative today!

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The Author

Alex Mordach

Alexander Mordach is the Director of Technology Solutions. Prior to his current role, Alex worked as an engineer for Phoenix Technologies, bringing UEFI BIOS solutions to the mass marketplace. He is an advocate of groundbreaking technology and is a key player in helping us stay on the forefront of all mobile technologies.

Read more by Alex Mordach

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