Advancing Your Smart Grid with Advanced Metering Infrastructure

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is seen as part of tomorrow’s Smart Grid, where real-time data and automated two-way communications work together so the customer can be more informed of their energy consumption.

AMI employs sophisticated technology that can drive smarter energy distribution and demand response, resulting in significant cost savings for utilities as well as consumers, and more effective energy efficiency programs for water, electricity, and gas.


AMI works in tandem with automated meter reading (AMR) by combining hardware, meter data management (MDM) software, and two-way communications toward the goal of reducing costs and optimizing energy consumption.

Whereas AMR is a one-way tool (data is automatically collected from a meter), AMI is a two-way concept. For example, data taken from a meter 15 minutes ago can be sent to a household or a business, notifying them of a problem such as a leak or a malfunction, or of sudden extraordinary use of energy.

The non-revenue water loss example

One way to better understand AMI is the water utility example. Many water utilities suffer from non-revenue water losses; they are essentially leaking money due to leaks in their water distribution infrastructure.

Traditionally, detecting leaks is not only costly due to the physical, manual nature of detection. It can also take weeks, months or even years to identify and find a leak. If a water main breaks, that’s big trouble.

However, if early leak detection can be solved by just replacing a pipe as opposed to an entire section, that’s a significant cost saving.

An AMI system can ensure continuous monitoring of a distribution system. Smart data transmission and reporting will identify a leak almost instantly as opposed to waiting for a leak to show up months later.

AMI can especially benefit areas where there is a water supply constraint. In those areas, leak detection is a large concern. If water is scarce, it’s even more valuable and needs to be conserved in every way possible.

AMI can also lead to better asset management for water utilities by enabling the utility to identify parts of the system that are underperforming, weak or faulty, without the usual labor-intensive inspection methods.

Benefits of AMI

The benefits of AMI are numerous, and they will continue to grow as AMI systems evolve:

  • Highly detailed, real-time data that customers can use to change their habits
  • Faster and shorter billing cycles
  • Data that can drive smarter pricing structures for consumers, with incentives to the end user to use energy during off-peak hours
  • Optimized supply and demand management
  • Phase load balancing

Meters and only meters

Metering and Technology Solutions is a distributor of meters and advanced metering infrastructure equipment to municipal water, gas and electric utilities in the upper Midwest. By limiting our focus to specific products and a clearly defined set of customers we are able to offer better service and technical expertise to our audience.


Our AMI/AMR experts are at the ready to guide you toward a smarter grid, so call us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Metering and Technology Solutions is a distributor, installer and back-up service provider of meters and advanced metering infrastructure systems in Minnesota, Iowa, western Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.