T&D World Magazine

Software Identifies Potential Theft, Tampering at Meter

Itron, Inc. has released its new Revenue Protection Suite (RPS) software application. RPS provides electric and gas utilities with a powerful revenue investigation tool that identifies potential theft and tamper at the meter.

In the United States and Canada, an estimated 1% to 2% of energy is purposefully diverted by customers, amounting in nearly $6 billion of unrealized utility revenue annually. Despite the physical danger, customers attempt to stop, divert, bypass or reconnect meters to avoid paying for the metered resources they consume.

Using monthly consumption data from the utility’s meter data collection and CIS systems combined with external weather data, RPS performs advanced mathematical algorithms to analyze customer, meter and account data. RPS then identifies individual consumption patterns and detects suspect consumption behavior at an account level. RPS also provides sophisticated database filters for investigators to refine their criteria for identifying suspect accounts. Revenue investigators can then use the RPS investigation logs to track the status of actions taken on each suspect account.

“When utilities implement automatic meter reading, they lose the meter reader’s constant visual inspection of meters, making it harder to detect a theft or tamper problem,” said Philip Mezey, senior vice president of Itron’s software solutions group. “Revenue assurance departments at utilities using AMR are hungry for an easy way to pinpoint likely cases of theft and to manage the tamper data coming from the AMR modules.”

“One alternative is to send meter crews back into the field on a periodic basis to check the meters, which would reduce the cost-savings of an AMR system,” Mezey added. “Instead, Itron has developed RPS to combine and filter multiple data sources to create targeted and actionable lists of suspect accounts.”

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