The content in this newsletter comes from our white paper You’ve completed your utility’s AMI rollout, so now what? Day 2 opportunities.

Electric, water, and gas utilities across the US and Canada have invested millions designing and implementing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems. Now those utilities are looking for ways to use their investments to deliver even more value—we call this a day 2 opportunity.

It’s important to avoid looking at AMI in a silo and, instead, take a holistic approach to identify new potential functionality. We can help you discover available benefits from many obvious—and not-so-obvious—areas. To help get you started, we’ve pulled together 10 examples of AMI opportunities to consider.

Analytics

AMI vendors offer a variety of analytics options. Third-party solutions are also available. Some utilities have chosen to implement their own analytics solutions to address specific operational issues. We’ve seen solutions for:

  • Revenue integrity and theft detection
  • Leak detection, from both a premise and system perspective
  • Phase detection
  • Meter heat detection to prevent overheating
  • Aggregation of electrical loads from a group of meters (possibly from a group served by the same transformer)
  • Power quality
  • Nonrevenue water determination

Collaboration

Some utilities are evaluating the benefits of sharing their AMI communications network and other portions of their AMI infrastructure with neighboring utilities. One benefit is the opportunity to share costs.

Conservation voltage reduction

Some AMI systems can provide information that you can use to control the voltage on feeders and distribution lines. This could reduce power needs, cut costs, and improve power quality for your end-of-line customers.

Demand response (DR)

Some AMI systems can support DR actions by using either the communications system to control DR devices or AMI data to verify compliance with DR events.

Distribution automation

Many AMI vendors facilitate near-real-time automation for utility distribution processes. AMI can also work with third-party distribution automation applications.

Edge computing capabilities

Some AMI systems offer greater computing capability within the meter that can facilitate distributed intelligence applications. These could include theft detection, high-impedance detection, outage detection, location awareness, and neighbor comparisons.

Outage management systems

Integrating AMI with your outage management system can improve your performance metrics. It can also boost efficiency in dispatch of crews, outage sizing, and restoration.

Prepay

Many AMI systems integrate with prepay vendor systems, allowing you to offer this payment option to customers. Prepay is popular in communities with population turnover, like college towns. In addition, prepay programs reduce demand.

Streetlighting control

Several AMI systems allow you to use their communications networks to control streetlights by reporting outages and brightening or dimming the lights. Being able to adjust brightness can improve public safety and reduce power costs.

Time-of-use (TOU) and other dynamic pricing programs

Pairing AMI meters with a meter data management system and interval data can provide the necessary elements for TOU pricing options. This will help reduce the bills of customers who are flexible about the time of day they use electricity.

Download our AMI white paper

To fully evaluate these options, adopt a strategic alignment approach that brings together the ideas for opportunities from all stakeholder groups to create a day 2 roadmap. We recommend taking a use-case approach to building the roadmap. From there, you can develop clear implementation plans to address specific, prioritized, and endorsed benefits.

Let us help you develop your roadmap and implementation plans. Contact us to learn about more AMI opportunities.

Contributing Authors

Vice President of Project Management, Technology Planning and Implementation Consulting

Joel Westvold, PMP, specializes in managing the implementation of smart utility technology solutions. His 30 years of experience...