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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003


Utility automation: AMR Growth Continued in 2002, But 2003 is Not So Clear

This is an excellent summary of a market study of automated meter reading (AMR) technology by Howard Scott of Cognyst Consulting. Howard has included a lot of detailed numbers covering market segments, vendors, and technologies.

Like FTTH (fiber to the home), in the power utility business AMR was talked about, even fiddled with, for over a decade without actually being done about it. That finally started changing several years ago and now almost 17% of the meters in the U.S. are read remotely.

Most meter reading is done one of two ways -- either wireless (often by a truck driving down the street) or by power line carrier (similar to broadband over powerlines but at much lower frequencies and data rates).

One impetus for AMR adoption has been the obvious one -- reduced labor rates.

We think in the longer term, the strategic reasons will become more important, as power utilities become able to monitor energy usage by every user in their system and adjust their management of the grid accordingly.

The web link above can be erratic; sometimes registration is required to access the article, sometimes not.


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