Smarter metering and walk-by / drive-by systems opened the door for water utilities to uncover new insights on how to optimize operations. These Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems ushered in a new wave of convenience and intelligence when they were first adopted. Now many water utilities are seeking next-level data granularity that can only be delivered through an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The challenge this presents is how to transition from AMR to AMI conveniently and cost effectively.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to present on a webinar hosted by American Water Works Association titled, “Create a Smart Utility Network Leveraging Existing Infrastructure.” I reviewed the history of advanced metering (both AMR and AMI), the differences between the two, market trends impacting utilities and why they are moving to different technology applications.

So why should your utility consider transitioning from AMR to AMI, and what should you know along the way? Click here to view the full recorded webinar and learn more. I’ve also included some key highlights below.

More data more frequently

AMI provides a more comprehensive collection of data on an hourly basis with sensors for flow, leak management, level, pressure and shut off capabilities. It also supports a better customer experience for utilities through solutions, such as customer portal which allows end customers to monitor their usage on a daily basis.

Manual intervention

AMR systems require manual labor, vehicle costs and increased exposure to injuries. Unlike AMR, AMI doesn’t require personnel to collect the data. Instead, the system transmits the data directly to the utility in a two-way communications system, improving accuracy and availability to consumption data.

Integration of business processes

An AMI solution allows for the integration of the overall business processes into a single platform. This data provides much-needed information to other areas within the utility including engineering, planning, customer service, billing, water distribution, wastewater and more.

Migrating from AMR to AMI has never been easier. During the webinar, I presented a case study of a customer who is transitioning from AMR to AMI, which is allowing them to efficiently create a smart utility network.

One critical component to a successful deployment of smart metering systems is planning. When determining a metering system for your utility, factor into the decision where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Learn how to bring digital intelligence to your utility — and prepare you for the technology of tomorrow.