Automatic meter reading (AMR) automatically collects consumption data from water meter or energy metering devices (gas, electric) using wireless technology and transfers that data to a central database for billing. This allows billing to be based on actual consumption rather than estimates and saves utility providers the expense of staff travel to a physical location to read a meter. AMR also allows companies to give time-of-day-based conservation incentive plans for their customer.
A network meter reading (NMR) systems requires a communications device that is typically retrofitted to a utility’s existing meters. This device sends signals through the system’s local area network to a pole-top device, which begins to process the information from the meter. For example, this device will route alarm signals back to the systems head end with a higher priority than it sends back standard meter reads.