Automated meter reading or AMR (also sometimes called automatic meter reading) combines the electronic capabilities of newer solid-state meters with communication systems such as radio, phone, internet, or wireless to automate meter reading and data collection. With AMR, meter data can go directly into the billing system without the need for manual transcription. This essentially allows meter reading to take place whenever the power supplier desires, without requiring a human to actually look at and read the meter. Data may be collected by an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) or through handheld devices used by a meter reader walking or driving a route.
The advantages are instantaneous communication and data collection, less chance for error, and lower operating costs. AMR facilitates faster identification of metering problems and potential data loss and offers additional information and service capabilities to provide to the customer such as around-the-clock power usage data and instantaneous notification to the utility of a power outage. Disadvantages are high upfront technology and implementation expenses to install the system.