Smart meter basics

Smart meter basics


 Related links


The successful completion of the Automated Meter Reading (AMR) project in 2010 was a fundamental step in our evolution to a multi-service smart grid. Through the AMR system and the associated Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), we capture reads for more than a half million electric, natural gas and water meters every day.

One-way meters record billing and interval data at 5-minute (electric) or 15-minute (natural gas, water) intervals. The reads are stored on concentrators until collected.

One-way AMR meters send their data in one direction, from the meter to the concentrator. Two-way AMI electric meters record billing and interval data every 5-minutes and have the ability to get real-time reads, voltage information, etc. These reads are stored on the meters until collected, which occurs every four hours. Unlike one-way AMR meters, two-way AMI meters do not store their data on concentrators. Two-way electric meters send their data to collectors and we can communicate back to the meter. Benefits of two-way electric meters include the ability to remotely disconnect/reconnect service, improve network performance, and provide enhanced services in the future.


  • Type: L+G Gridstream 902 – 928 mHz spread spectrum Radio Frequency (RF) Mesh Network including collectors and concentrators.
  • Challenges
    • Topography and network infrastructure create challenges for obtaining interval reads
    • Copper theft causing outages
    • Interference from unlicensed frequency devices (e.g., baby monitors, interstate signs, other devices, etc.)

Cost savings
There are many areas in which the automated meters provide substantial cost savings and process efficiencies.

  1. Reduction in labor expenses - elimination of meter readers - with the implementation of AMR system.
  2. Cost per read savings: 50.8 percent of the cost of manual reads.