Issue: 
Provide accurate bills based on exact data usage with a simple and cost-effective method for reading utility metres.
Solution: 

Use a wireless data connection to relay detailed two-way usage information between the meter and the server of autility company.

Benefits:

  • Fully automatic billing systems
  • Completely automatic determination of load profiles
  • Cost savings for both the customer and utility company
  • Reduced manual meter reading
  • Improved efficiency
  • Implementation of local regulations and energy efficiency guidelines

Conventional accumulation meters use electro-mechanical, or electronic, counters to measure consumption. These meters are often located in hard to access areas and record only the most basic usage information on a quarterly basis – charging the same amount regardless of the time of consumption. Smart meters, on the other hand, record and relay usage data at regular intervals and allow for the precise measurement of energy and water use. This benefits both the consumer and the utility industry by providing accurate billing information such as time of use or critical peak prices, enabling users to be billed according to their actual consumption rather than an average load profile.

With tightened government regulations and the ever increasing cost of natural resources such as crude oil, coal, natural gas and water, the implementation of an automatic real time meter reading process reduces costs through the efficient allocation of resources.

Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and a central system, gathering data for remote reporting to avoid manual meter reading. Customers are provided with accurate bills, thereby eliminating the potential for bill shock resulting from estimated charges. Near real time information about energy usage, pricing and bills can offer financial savings to customers choosing to reduce their consumption at peak times.

The capacity for remote communication is supported by a reliable 3G network connection. The NetComm Wireless HSPA M2M Serial Modem allows the device to take data from the Serial port, and send it over a 3G network to any IP network enabled device such as a computer, tablet or smart phone.

Environmental awareness has brought the benefits of smart grids into sharp focus. Smart grids leverage intelligent monitoring systems and wireless controls to manage energy creation, distribution and consumption. Smart grid solutions help positively address energy independence and other concerns with lower use, reduced costs and increased reliability. (Visiongain. M2M 2011: Opportunities and Challenges with Connected Devices)
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