PLACE Community Managers understands the demand for electrical use in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, and other Middle Eastern countries as they continue to work on a solid infrastructure. At the same time, rising costs, industry structural change, and the need for greater environmental protection, industries are recognising that there needs to be a building block that provides a better energy efficient future. We believe the future for utilities billing management will be greatly improved with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

Utility companies are working on regulatory mechanisms and creating business models that will make AMI a global realty. This campaign is a joint effort to enable energy efficiency into becoming a sustainable, viable business for utility companies and other energy providers, utilities billing management, digital smart meters, automated controls, 2-way communications, and sophisticated data management systems. AMI capable of increasing the industry’s portfolio of potential resource options to keep up with the Middle Eastern’s demand for electricity.

AMI can align competitive wholesale markets with regulated retail markets to create more cost savings. It can become a pillar for dynamic partnerships between utility companies like Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and utilities billing management services like PLACE Strata Management offers. We believe as a whole together we’ll be able to achieve better power quality, greater reliability, cost control, environmental protection, and risk management.

Benefits of Advanced Metering Infrastructure

These advanced meters are not read by a meter reader visually and they’ve been around for decades. Automated Meter Reading (AMR) systems primarily use a receiver mounted in a vehicle and as the vehicle passed by meters, data read. AMR systems accelerated cash flow, lowered meter reading expenses, and minimised the need for estimated bills, however, once the data from the meters arrived at the utility companies, took the same route as the data that was collected manually.

With AMI, a utility company can read all of their meters at the same time, but it’s true value far exceeds simple meter readings. AMI communicates with a fixed network that’s in place 2417, will not move. These meters are equipped with innovative communication capabilities usually with power-lines or by radio, however, sometimes satellites, digital cellular, and telephone systems are used.

Meters with power-line capabilities communicate with data collectors that are located at substations. Each of these systems can communicate directly with a utilities billing management system, outage management system, and customer information systems. 

AMI’s future in 2-way communications gives customers and utilities the potential to use time-based rates like Interruptible, time of use, real-time rates, and seasonal rates across the total customer base. The benefits of an AMI system will include:

  • Reducing the Need for Adding New Peak Generating Plants With Lower System Peak Demands
  • New Moderation of Wholesale Prices Attributed to Retail Markets Who Are Including Price Minded Customers
  • Maintaining Reliability by Decreasing the Stress on Distribution and Transmission Networks During Peak Times
  • Saving Customers Money That Switches Their Demand to Off-Peak Periods

Middle East Regional Impacts

Utility companies considering AMI need to consider the regional impacts by coordinating with AMI across the entire Middle East; a region can lower costs by permitting that region’s power suppliers to gain a maximum benefit from economies-of-scale. The future of AMI will have a big impact on customer savings and company profits, however, a substantial investment is required. 


The Cost For AMI Systems

The cost for AMI communication systems being able to read these meters are between 300 – 600 AED per meter. Then response components like load control, customer signalling, and other response equipment will add another 300 – 1,250 AED per site. The systems needed to manage AMI and integrate with the utilities operating systems are now being implemented and the expenses vary widely. 

For utilities billing management systems, the elimination or reduction of meter reading will constitute the single most robust benefit for utilities using core facilities management services like PLACE Community Managers.