ElectronicMeter Reading: Link between Water Meter and House

ReportNo WSAA 28

June 1991




ElectronicMeter Reading (Stage 1) has successfully demonstrated a solution to a majorimpediment to water utilities implementing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR). Thisproblem is uniquely Australian because of our practice of placing water, andpossibly 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 communicationslink must be provided between the meter and the house. Because of the largebase of installed meters, in established gardens, a non destructive method mustbe found to achieve this. One of the possible technologies available for thislink has been demonstrated in Stage 1 of this project and described within thisreport.


Electronicmeter reading is the first step to a Customer Utility Information Exchange(CUIE). CUIE, which is commonly known as AMR, is the transfer of information bythe electricity, water and gas utilities to and from their customers. The majorfacilities to be offered by CUIE are:


        Exchange of billing information,

        Display of pricing information at the customerís premises,

        Exchange of load management information, and

        Supervision of supply.


Thisreport also details the justification for a CUIE system by examining thebenefits to be obtained by the utilities and their customers. It includes apreliminary cost benefit study, based on 1,000,000 customers, which returns anet present value of $2,093,000 after 10 years with a discount rate of 15%.


Stage2 is to be carried out in 1991 and 1992 to advance the studies of Stage 1 byfurther development of the link from the water meter to the house as well astrialing the collection of customer usage information from a number of housesto a central site (a pseudo billing centre).


Copiesof the Report are available from WSAA, price $A30. Orders may be placed throughthe Bookshop at www.wsaa.asn.au or by email to info@wsaa.asn.au.