Wireless AMI is making it possible for Madison Water Utility to provide metered readings from their customers in a more timely fashion; however the implementation of the project has had other (unexpected) benefits.
Madison Water Utility (MWU), Wisconsin, recently finished upgrading customer water meters to a wireless AMI network that reads and transmits water consumption on an hourly basis. The project has seen more than 67 800 new metering systems installed in homes and businesses across Madison and allows MWU to remotely access and analyse meter data.
Reasoning for the move to AMI
AMI was examined as an option as the utility wanted to move from semi-annual billing to a more regular billing schedule. The previous metering regime had seen three full time meter readers working on a rotational basis and covering readings across the six utility areas, which service more than 250 000 people across the city of Madison, village of Shorewood Hills, town of Blooming Grove, village of Maple Bluff, parts of the city of Fitchburg, the town of Madison and the town of Burke. As an added impetus to change the metering infrastructure, the remote reading registers which had been widely used in the previous metering programme were no longer being manufactured – hence, the reasons for replacement were two-fold in some cases.
The implementation of what became known as Project H20 was driven by the vision of providing monthly bills, and a desire to provide customers with more information on their water consumption. The utility determined the benefits of the move to an AMI system would include improved cash flow, better resource management, an opportunity to improve customer service, better access to data and the chance to become an industry leader. Additionally, the utility didn’t have.....