BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Copper Labs, a utility technology and solutions provider that supports electric, gas and water utilities with high-resolution meter data and actionable insights, announced its new patent, awarded for the use of drive-by automated meter reading (AMR) technology for outage detection. This innovative new capability provides real-time insights and alerts to help utility companies detect and manage power outages without the need for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), also commonly called "smart meters." By leveraging existing meters rather than relying on outage reports from utility customers or box truck crew surveys, Copper is providing a streamlined and low-cost way for electric utilities to increase reliability and resiliency.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. electricity customers averaged seven hours of power interruptions in 2021 and eight hours in 2020. As our economy continues to electrify in response to climate change while experiencing extreme weather events and a growing number of attacks on power infrastructure, electric utilities are exploring new ways to enhance the flexibility and resilience of the grid while keeping rates as affordable as possible.
"We are thrilled to introduce this game-changing outage detection capability," said Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs. "Effectively responding to and managing outages is critical for all utilities, and we're excited to provide innovative new options to help them keep the lights on and people safe. Our goal is to give utility companies the tools they need to quickly identify and decrease the duration of power outages — regardless of the types of metering equipment they currently have in the field — while also empowering homeowners with timely and actionable insights."
Outage detection has historically been one of the primary motivators for electric utilities to consider an often slow and expensive retrofit of AMR systems to AMI. However, with Copper Labs' advanced technology, utility companies can now identify the exact location of outages and efficiently allocate resources for restoration without having to make this shift. This approach can help utilities immediately realize faster response times, reduced downtime and improved customer satisfaction.
According to the White House, reliable, real-time power outage insights can improve response times and save lives, while allowing communities to recover more quickly from system failures. Copper is currently supporting critical research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on outage detection and automated restoration and is ready to support electric utilities across the country with its in-home and neighborhood-level detectors to meet this critical need.
About Copper Labs:
Copper Labs' patented technology remotely collects near-real-time data from existing utility meters without extensive infrastructure overhauls and at a fraction of the time and expense of smart meter deployments. With the high-resolution meter data Copper unlocks, we empower electric, gas, and water utilities to better support a data-driven transition to a low-carbon economy, increase resilience in the face of a changing climate, improve equity, manage demand, and deliver an excellent customer experience. Visit CopperLabs.com for more information.