Electronic Meter Reading: Link between Water Meter and House
This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.
Report no. UWRAA 28
Electronic Meter Reading (Stage 1) has successfully demonstrated a solution to a major impediment to water utilities implementing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR). This problem is uniquely Australian because of our practice of placing water, and possibly gas meters, on the property boundary. These meters can be up to 50mfrom the house and any power sources. This means that a low cost communications link must be provided between the meter and the house. Because of the large base of installed meters, in established gardens, a non destructive method must be found to achieve this. One of the possible technologies available for this link has been demonstrated in Stage 1 of this project and described within this report.
Electronic meter reading is the first step to a Customer Utility Information Exchange(CUIE). CUIE, which is commonly known as AMR, is the transfer of information by the electricity, water and gas utilities to and from their customers. The major facilities to be offered by CUIE are:
· Exchange of billing information,
· Display of pricing information at the customer’s premises,
· Exchange of load management information, and
· Supervision of supply.
This report also details the justification for a CUIE system by examining the benefits to be obtained by the utilities and their customers. It includes a preliminary cost benefit study, based on 1,000,000 customers, which returns a net present value of $2,093,000 after 10 years with a discount rate of 15%.
Stage 2 is to be carried out in 1991 and 1992 to advance the studies of Stage 1 by further development of the link from the water meter to the house as well as trialing the collection of customer usage information from a number of houses to a central site (a pseudo billing centre).