Energy and water utilities across North America have successfully deployed hundreds of millions of advanced meters—both drive-by (AMR) and smart meters (AMI)—over the past fifteen years, but the promised benefits of this equipment still haven’t been fully realized. With investment in new smart meter deployments beginning to stall over the past year, utility technology company Copper Labs believes a strategic framework called AMx will help solve the problems associated with advanced meters and wring significant new value from existing utility infrastructure.
At its core, AMx (in which “x” is a variable that encompasses nearly any type of meter, from yesterday’s drive-by meters to contemporary AMI and the advanced meters of the future), is about leveraging converged infrastructure—such as existing broadband networks—to get even more out of current metering technologies. This kind of approach wasn’t possible when smart meters were first deployed, but interoperable communications technologies and solutions have come a long way in the past 15 years. AMx comes at a critical time when utilities face myriad emerging challenges in areas ranging from affordability and equity to decarbonization, resiliency, load flexibility, and customer experience, all of which demand enhanced and more timely consumption data to address.
“AMx is a leading-edge, yet deeply pragmatic, framework to help utilities realize the promise of smart meters and spur innovation while reducing system costs,” says Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs. “A large part of the challenges with AMI has stemmed from meter manufacturers’ use of proprietary communications networks that have effectively created entrenched monopolies, prevented utilities from realizing the potential of real-time data, and slowed the rate of innovation. That can change with an AMx framework that supports a modern best-of-breed ecosystem and puts utilities back in control of their investments.”
Copper Labs is leading the way on AMx, and it’s building an ecosystem of utility, hardware, and solution provider partners to help implement it. “Copper is focused on wirelessly accessing granular data from existing electric, gas, and water meters and sharing it instantly with utilities and their customers through existing broadband networks,” says Forman. “That capability is a key enabler of AMx, but it’s just one part of the picture. We look forward to working with a wide range of partners in the near term to realize the full potential of AMx.”
To learn more and reach out about opportunities for collaboration, visit copperlabs.com/amx.
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 an informed 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.