AMI - American Water Works Association

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI):
Selecting and Evaluating AMI Systems
• Brief history of meter reading
• What is AMI
• AMI System Benefits
• Selecting an AMI System
• Future Products
Remember when……….
Visual Remote
Touch Read
Walk By Hand Held Radio
Drive By Radio
Water Utilities are under pressure and
need solutions
Aging infrastructure & workforce
Economic slow down
Rising power, chemical, and
labor costs
4% of U.S. electrical generation used
for water delivery and treatment.
(Source and Waste Water) – EPRI 2006
Contamination threats
Increased revenue
Cost reductions
Service and quality
Reduction of risk
I don’t believe my bill
Conservation & Consumer Transparency
•76% of consumers concerned about need
to conserve water(1)
•67% of consumers are concerned about
the cost of water service at their home(1)
•36 states predicting water shortages
between now & 2013(2)
•5-10% of American homes leak 177+
billion gallons annually through old
faucets and toilets(2)
•Lack of consumption detail contributes to
bill estimates and errors
(1) Testing the Water: Smart Metering for Water Utilities, Oracle,
January 2010
(2) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense, Statistics
and Facts,
(3) Utility Bills $10,000 After Estimating Bill During Winter—Despite
Substantial Refund, Ogden Utah Man Says City Still Owes Him
Money, Channel 5 KSL-TV, October 9, 2008, 10:02 p.m.
Aggressive EPA Enforcement
• At least 30 cities are under consent
decrees to upgrade their systems
— Atlanta $4.0B
— Washington, D.C. $2.8B
— Baltimore City and county
— Cincinnati $1.5B
“New Jersey can maintain
a viable economy with a
sound environment only if
it ensures that its water
supply, wastewater and
storm water infrastructure
is effectively maintained in
a manner that produces
the lowest life-cycle cost.”
• 1974/1996 Safe Drinking Water Act
--The Clean Water Council
• 2011 proposed federal budget
of New Jersey - October
— Currently calls for $990 M
for Drinking Water SRF
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
What is AMI?
Advanced Metering Infrastructure
(AMI), is the complete automation
of the metering process which
includes meter reading, distribution
What is the difference?
Once a month
After Monthly Reads
On demand
When it occurs
When it occurs
Whose System is right for me?
Star Systems
Basic Network Architecture
SMR Collector
Base Station
Multipath or Mesh Systems
Why 2-Way AMI for Water?
1.Lets you read meters from your office
2.Provides bills that customers can believe by
showing how much water they used every hour
3.Monitors for tamper, leaks, burst & backflow
4.Allows you to remotely control water service
5.Informs consumers about their usage
6.Allows you to manage drought situation
Key AMI System Benefits
Increasing meter accuracy
Increasing accuracy of meter readings
Reducing the number of estimates and misreads
Reducing difference between water production
and customer sales
Reducing or eliminating potential theft of service,
meter tampering issues, and bad debt
Key AMI System Benefits
• Reduce operating expenses associated with reading meters…
– Reducing or eliminating final and rereads by personnel
– Providing the ability for remote electric connects and
• Allow utilities to…
– Comply with federal and state unfunded mandates
– Enhance rate payer equity
– More promptly respond to customer inquiries
• Provide better customer service by…
– Eliminating long and short reading periods
– Being able to address billing and usage concerns more
– Fewer home and yard intrusions
Consumer Benefits
• New AMI tools provide customers:
– On-demand access to consumption
– Involvement in managing utility cost
– High usage & demand response notice
– Leak detection notice
– Budget tracking/setting
Benefits of Data
• Strengthens relationships with
• Improves customer service
• Educates consumers on the
importance of conservation
• Addresses non-revenue water
• Promotes consumer understanding of
rate increases
• Reduces billing “surprises”
• Enhances communication with
Web-Based Consumer Portal
Enables utilities to strengthen
relationships with consumers by
providing a consolidated view of their
water and electricity consumption
online to help them better understand
and manage usage behavior and
enhance communication with their
Remote Disconnect Meter (RDM)
Wedge position indication
Contaminant Flushing Hydrant
Satellite Meter Reading
Smart Water Infrastructure: Beyond AMR
Best Practices when
Choosing an AMI System
Goals when choosing an AMI System
Leverage existing assets
Utilize water utility owned infrastructure
Full two-way communication
Real time data
Actionable information for managing
utility operations
Move toward smart infrastructure
#1. Know Your Business Case
Business case must drive procurement
Consider meter age
Likely not a good business case if you
recently replaced all of your meters
#1. Know Your Business Case (continued)
Key Factor - Will you take advantage of AMI Benefits?
Rate structure - Limited benefit if you are just going
to charge a flat rate
Advanced Feature benefits – Increased AMI value
comes from leveraging the many benefits which go
beyond meter reading
If not, Might be better off with AMR
#2: Procurement Strategy
Unbundle the cost of the project into logical
Have vendors bid on these components separately
Stay technology neutral until proposals are
Don’t decide on Mesh vs. vs. Star without seeing
vendor proposals and understanding your options
Consider existing your applications/systems and an
AMI vendor’s willingness to adapt
Application examples: Billing, CIS
#3: Cost Considerations
Consider on-going costs vs. upfront costs
This can be a huge differentiator
Carefully evaluate what the primary vendor is
offering vs. 3rd parties
Consider what is in base system cost
Consumer Portal, MDMS -> often require additional
add-on costs
Is software client based or internet based?
Thank You!
Questions or Comments??
For More Information:
Or call (704) 278-2221