Advanced metering infrastructure

An advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is an integrated system of smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems that enables two-way communication between utilities and customers. Components include:

  • A monitoring and/or control gateway at the customer facility that may include a smart meter, a smart inverter, direct control of smart appliances, and/or an energy services gateway
  • One or more communications networks that can transmit data and/or control signals in both directions
  • Meter Data Management Infrastructure (MDMI), which is the host that receives data and transmits it to the Meter Data Management System (MDMS)
  • An MDMS that manages meter data storage and analysis to provide the data in a useful form

Functions enabled by an AMI include remote automated meter reading (AMR), remote service connect and disconnect, rapid detection and location identification of outages, voltage and power quality monitoring, and detection of electricity theft. Combined with other technologies, an AMI can also enable online customer information portals, time-of-use rate programs, and direct control of customer equipment for participation in demand response programs. 

Benefits of an AMI include:

  • Reduced costs for meter reading and billing
  • The potential for more customer control over energy consumption and costs
  • Lower utility capital expenditures and power supply expenses due to reduced system peak demand
  • Lower utility distribution capital expenditures due to the ability to control demand on specific circuits
  • Faster outage response