T&D World Magazine

Report: Advanced Metering, Meter Data Management Systems Make Inroads in Utility Industry

As additional utilities turn to automated meter reading (AMR), more are settling on advanced metering systems capable of delivering frequent meter data and the supporting infrastructure necessary to meet future business goals, Chartwell reports in its latest state-of-the-AMR industry research report.

After adopting a wait-and-see approach for many years, numerous large utilities are in the final stages of rolling out with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems capable of delivering interval data and two-way functionality. This progression has taken place as communications technologies continue to mature, and utilities are seeing others benefit from its uses, such as outage management, revenue protection, distribution system monitoring and improved billing and customer service. Thirty-one percent of utilities interviewed say they have already installed or are installing advanced metering systems, while many others are considering, piloting or planning future deployments.

Along with this upward movement toward advanced metering, utilities are also seeking out ways to better manage meter data through meter data management systems (MDMS), a crucial part of AMI. Chartwell asked utilities what types of systems they are using to manage their meter data, and found the majority still uses customer information and billing systems or data warehouses, but the report also shows a move with many utilities toward stand-alone MDMS.

These findings and others are revealed in The Chartwell AMR Report 2006, 11th Edition, an annual publication that gauges the biggest issues facing the industry. It is based on exclusive surveys of metering officials at more than 100 utility companies serving customers in the United States and Canada. The 2006 edition reports on eight key points identified through Chartwell’s exclusive industry surveys.

Additional key points include analysis of the expected growth of two-way functionality, the variances between electric, gas and water markets, the rise of solid-state metering and a look at the current AMR market, with historical analysis and growth projections. Individual surveys that include numerous data points exclusive to each utility respondent are also included in the 249-page electronic publication. A sortable, searchable database is also provided.

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