Remote and Smart Metering
Protea Metering has always been at the forefront of new and innovative technology. We are constantly researching and developing new ways to improve our service. The latest buzzword in the industry is Smart Metering. Not only has Protea Metering been utilizing the advantages of remote metering for years, we have also developed and implemented state of the art Smart Metering systems ahead of both the competition as well as municipalities.
Remote Metering vs Smart Metering
Remote Metering is described as
the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from water meter or energy metering devices (gas, electric) and transferring that data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing.It may also be called "Automatic Meter Reading", or AMR.
Smart Metering on the other hand is described as
systems that measure, collect, and analyze energy usage, and communicate with metering devices such as electricity meters, gas meters, heat meters, and water meters, either on request or on a schedule. These systems include hardware, software, communications, consumer energy displays and controllers, customer associated systems, Meter Data Management (MDM) software, and supplier business systems.It may also be called "Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)".
The biggest difference between these two is that communication with AMR meters is one-way. AMR meters are "unintelligent" data collectors. Communication with Smart Meters on the other hand is two-way. We communicate with our Smart Meters in real time, meaning all readings are accurate up to the minute, power interruptions are picked up faster, quality of service is better monitored, prepaid tokens are delivered directly to the meter from the Point of Sale and much, much more.
Even though we may still refer to "Remote Metering" all our new installations are actually Smart Meters.
What does Smart Metering mean for the client?
There are a myriad of benefits for the client when it comes to Smart Metering which is why it is being implemented worldwide.
These advantages include (but are not limited to):
- Manage Your Usage - Thanks to up to the minute reporting you as client can view and manage your electricity usage. Easy-to-read graphs show when and how you use electricity. As we know electricity has become a rare and expensive commodity in South Africa therefore the ability to manage your usage is paramount.
- No More Human Error - Because all meter interaction is automatic you no longer have to worry about wrong readings captured by meter readers, no more phoning in your meter readings, no more estimated readings and no more incorrect invoices.
- Ease of Use - If you have a prepaid meter you no longer have a keypad where you have to input the 20 digit token when you want to load electricity. When you purchase prepaid electricity the token is automatically delivered to the electricity meter. Purchasing prepaid electricity has also never been this easy. You don't have to leave your living room. All you need is your cellular phone or computer to purchase electricity. The Smart Metering site (OAMI) was also designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible.
- Less Outages - You will receive SMS notifications when your prepaid meter's credit runs low or if your post paid account runs into arrears. Your electricity will also be reconnected immediately after you make a payment if your supply was disconnected.
Protea Metering provides Smart Metering Services via the OAMI (Online Automated Metering Infrastructure) website which was developed by the Electrical Engineering company Power Systems Projects. All Smart Metering functionality happens via the OAMI.co.za website, including registration, management and transactions.