Vending Infrastructure: a multi-application payment network for utilities

Vending Infrastructure: a multi-application payment network for utilities

The sudden proliferation of new payment and pre- payment options has been driven by the never-ending advance of technologies like smartcard, wireless and the Internet, as well as added revenue opportunities at the point of sale, such as bill payment and other prepaid services such as prepaid cellular airtime. This sometimes bewildering cornucopia of offerings, facilitated and evangelised by the card associations, banks, retailers, governments and new entrepreneurial start-ups, requires an intimate understanding of payment and prepayment protocols, platforms, delivery mechanisms, cryptography, financial institutions and, most importantly, a track record of successful implementations.

Improving your revenue

Improving your revenue

Since the first electricity meter was installed, people have been finding ingenious ways of tricking the meter and utility companies out of revenue. These ideas are now actively traded on the Internet.

Every year utilities around the world lose huge amounts of energy and money to theft, tampering and illegal connections. But utility companies at the forefront of the industry are now realising that with automatic meter reading they can actually get ahead of the game. They can instantly spot when a so-called ‘empty’ house starts using energy, or when a property’s consumption pattern suddenly changes, possibly due to fraud.

Dispelling prepayment myths

Prepayment technologies on trial in Kuwait

The advent of electronics in electricity and gas metering has seen a number of innovative products unleashed onto the market over the last ten to fifteen years. However, despite the ability of these products to reduce operating costs, many suppliers use them in a similar manner to the electromechanical or mechanical products they replaced, and thus gain little or no benefit from their installation. Time and time again I hear the phrase “We do it this way because that’s the way we have always done it”.

Portable AC sources for on-site meter testing

Portable AC sources for on-site meter testing

Many distribution authorities carry out statistical sample testing of meter types to ensure compliance with national regulations. The results of this sampling can provide good advance warning of any possible problems with particular meter types before they become critical.

When conducting meter checks on site, there are two fundamentally different test methods available to the distribution authority. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Entering the information age with AMR

Entering the information age with AMR

At the Metering Asia-Pacific conference held earlier this year in Bangkok, Thailand, one delegate stated that, for his company, the metering data is more important than the energy they sell. Similar sentiments have been expressed by many other industries as they have shifted from being a monopoly to facing competition. Why the sudden interest in data?

Through-life management of gas metering assets

Through-life management of gas metering assets

From extending asset life to identifying potential opportunities for future advancement in metering technology, BG Technology’s consumer metering service is an advanced concept in the through-life management of gas metering assets. This comprehensive service offers many benefits to customers.

  • Lower operational costs
  • Increased revenue
  • Extension of asset life
  • Decrease in lost and unaccounted for gas
  • Early identification of potential pro-blems through consistent monitoring
  • Optimised investment in new assets.

The benefits of outsourcing your metering services in today’s highly competitive energy markets are undeniable, and include:

Enhance profits with advanced PLC AMR system

Enhance profits with advanced PLC AMR system

Advanced automated meter reading (AMR) systems available now can offer enormous benefits to utilities worldwide. Advanced two-way systems allow increased operating profits and cost savings, as well as increased communication and control for system integrity, reliability, and customer service.

One such system was installed at residential premises, offices and stores in Caracas, Venezuela. It was provided to Electricidad de Caracas (EDC) the largest utility in Venezuela, serving several million customers in urban and rural areas.

Power consumption by energy meters

Power consumption by energy meters

Electronic kWh meters offer many advantages over the electromechanical meter , such as higher accuracy across a wider range, additional features at very little or no extra cost, and smaller size.

The overall power consumption represents an important parameter. Similar to the electromechanical meter, it consists of a constant portion and a portion which depends on the current through the load.

Meter data exchange – standardisation for interoperability

Meter data exchange - standardisation for interoperability

The European utility and metering industry recognised the needs of the liberalised market for meter data exchange. Based on the work of the DLMS User Association, new international standards are being developed by IEC TC13 WG14 and will be ready for publication in 2001.

Market needs

In the past, technical solutions for remote meter reading systems were to a large extent defined in bilateral agreements between a supplier and a user. This was a quite workable approach as long as automatic meter reading was limited to small groups of utility customers or to special applications only. The outcome was the creation of a variety of closed systems and proprietary solutions to meet specific customer needs.

Solid-state electricity meters – trends and technologies

Solid-state electricity meters - trends and technologies

The demand for solid-state electricity meters is growing worldwide. Today’s solid-state meters exceed the performance and reliability of their electromechanical counterpart. Production costs are decreasing continuously, and the metering industry is now at the point where a solid-state meter is becoming more cost-effective than the Ferraris meter.

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