With over 70 years experience innovating and developing technologies for metering and communications, IUSA, a Mexican company, has created the Smart Self–Managed Metering System. This system uses multifunctional meters and a smart contactless card to measure electrical power and water usage. The system allows for either pre-payment or post-payment operating modes.
In the pre-payment mode, the meter alerts the consumer that the account must be replenished with a visual alarm. The consumer then takes the smart card to the nearest point of sale and buys the amount for either electricity or water needed. The points of sale are located nearby and operate convenient hours. Once payment is made and the smart card is credited, the consumer places the card on top of the meter and the purchased amount of utility will be downloaded automatically. Purchased energy or water is then available for use.
In the post-payment mode, at the end of the consumption cycle determined by the utility, the customer places the smart card on top of the meter to register his/her usage. Then, he/she takes the smart card to the point of sale and pays the current outstanding balance. Afterwards, he places the card, again, on top of the meter in order to notify the payment and avoid service interruption.
The points of sale recharge the smart card through a special device that is connected to the IUSA Smart Self-service Metering System through a standard web connection, where all the information of each user is downloaded, in real time, back to the utility company. At the same time, the utility company can programme multiple meter functions using the smart card, the moment the user returns to download his credit. Communication between the utility company and the meter is attained at almost no operating cost. The smart card delivers the highest security standards to avoid illegal use or duplication.
The IUSA Smart Self-managed Metering System offers users the following advantages: total control of energy and water usage; flexibility to decide how much and when to buy; comfort, now that services can be purchased in authorised points of sale nearby; security, because the smart card is personal and will only work with the meter it is assigned to. By adopting the Smart Self-managed Metering System, utility companies gain important benefits. They receive usage payment in advance, thus eliminating overdue account receivables. In addition, costs related to periodic meter reading and bills generation and delivery are completely eliminated. With the online software that IUSA has developed, utilities will be able to access all types of information from their users and meters through reports tailored to their specific needs and interests.
After a successful pilot programme ran at the Estate of Morelos, México; the Federal Electricity Commission (Mexico’s national electricity utility) will install 5,220,000 IUSA electric meters between 2009 and 2010, nationwide. IUSA Smart Self-Managed Metering System is definitively, the most innovative solution to commercialise energy and water.