Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) provides a clear way for utility providers to become quicker and more effective in the way they monitor resource generation and consumption, but are organizations actually using this technology? And if so, are they getting the most out of it? Answering these questions as they apply to your operations may help you steer your utility provider in a more modern and effective direction in the years ahead.
The true power of AMI resides in its ability to work with other systems. There is value in using the increased intelligence of AMI to improve high-stakes processes such as outage management. When your stakeholders embrace fast-moving data that comes directly from the grid, they can quickly organize responses to unexpected disruptions and provide a level of highly automated customer service your consumer base will appreciate.
What’s the status of AMI adoption?
Reports and Data research from the first half of 2020 indicated that the AMI sector is set to be worth $21.05 billion in 2026. The technology is currently in a period of sustained growth and expansion. The researchers attributed this expansion to the fact that utilities can now provide more user-friendly service to customers. Data management processes that were once manual and required significant input from office staff are now automated, creating new efficiencies.
Some of the newly automated features noted in the study include the ability to connect or disconnect service remotely, without dispatching personnel. Utilities can also detect issues with their grids, ranging from outages caused by weather to intentional tampering. AMI’s detailed data ensures that it’s not just possible to sense that a problem has occurred, but also where the issue is located.
The Department of Energy’s major 2016 report on AMI explained that utilities themselves aren’t the only parties benefiting from the improved quality of data flowing from their meters to provider’s servers. Indeed, customers can now control their own utility use at a precise level thanks to online portals or thermostats connected to the so-called internet of things (IoT).
How can AMI connect to other systems?
Using AMI data as a tool to improve service should be a top priority for your utility organization if you haven’t already taken such a step. For a straightforward value-add, you can select an advanced outage management system (OMS) that integrates directly with AMI. This enables your personnel to drill down into the data flowing in. For example, when an electricity customer calls in to complain of dim lighting, staff can send a “ping” from the OMS interface and the AMI infrastructure will report the status of the relevant node.
Major disruptions are also easier to detect and correct with a combination of OMS and AMI. An advanced OMS solution can coordinate data from multiple AMI-connected meters to pinpoint where the breakdown has occurred. The OMS, accessible through a mobile interface in the field and integrated with geographic information systems (GIS), can then guide crews to exactly where they are needed, without wasted time searching for the problem.
To find out how customers are integrating DataVoice’s tools with their tech environments, view our success stories.