Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Q & A


  1. What is Automatic Meter Reading, or AMR, it is the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from a water meter orelectric metering device and transferring that data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing. This timely information, coupled with analysis, can help both the utility and customers’ better control the use and production of electric energy, or water consumption. This technology saves on the expense of periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter.


  1. What is Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) it is an integrated system of Smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems that enables two-way communication between utilities and customers.


  1. What is the difference between AMR and AMI meters? 

AMR stands for Automatic Meter Reading.  It is an older technology that only collects electrical energy consumption and transfers that data from the electric meter on the home to the utility (one-way communication).  AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure.  AMI meters, also known as Smart meters, are the updated digital versions of the traditional electrical meter attached to the outside of your home. These new meters, not only, measure how much electricity is used, but also at what time during the day. Utilities who provide their customers with smart meters are able to implement a variety of load reduction and energy saving programs, helping reduce the cost of providing electricity to a community.


  1. When will the new meters be installed?
    1. We are hoping to be able to start installing meters in July.


  1. What are some of the advantages of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system?
    1. Improves power reliability as well as outage detection, notification and location.
    2. Provides utility operational advantages such as remote meter reading, and remote customer disconnections/reconnections.
    3. Electric service quality issues like high / low voltage or blinks.
    4. The utility can use the AMI data to detect high water consumption, which will allow us to contact the customer to verify usage. It will also allow us to monitor inactive accounts to make sure there is no unauthorized usage and will help in determining if services have been illegally restored.
    5. AMI meters contain a tamper monitor that detects certain kinds of intrusions and alerts the utility.
    6. Provides two-way digital communications between the utility and the customer.
    7. In the near future we will have the ability to provide “pay as you go billing”.
    8. In the future we could offer a web portal: An online site the customer can visit to monitor their water and electric usage and apply that information to home automation systems.



  1. Will my water or electric meter data be shared with any other sources or companies?
    1. No. Your meter data will be used only by New Prague Utilities for billing & customer service information for your account only.


  1. Will this new water/electric meter system help me lower my water or electric bill?
    1. You will eventually be able to monitor your electric and water usage and this could help you to reduce the amount of electricity and water you use and lower your bill.


  1. Will I be charged for this new meter?
    1. There will be no added cost to the customers who install the new metering equipment.


  1. How is my meter read?
    1. Water meters will read consumption every hour and send data once a day.
    2. Electric meters will read consumption every 15 minutes and send data every hour.


10. What information is collected and transmitted by the AMI?

     Consumption (the meter read), interval consumption (hourly read), tamper flags (leak detection, cut cable, reverse flow), power outages.
11. Will the AMI system interfere with TV, radio, PC, home security systems, medical devices, etc.?
     No. AMI meters operate on a different frequency and very low power.
12. Health Concerns in regards to radio frequency (RF).
      Studies over the last 30 years have not identified any adverse impact from small amounts of RF energy, similar to amounts emitted by smart meters.  
      See chart below.