Advanced Metering Infrastructure FAQs

Why are we utilizing the AMI System?

The City of Brighton Infrastructure Department and its contractor will be installing the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) System technology as part of system-wide upgrade to our utility system to enhance customer service and deliver a more cost effective and efficient service.

AMI smart water meters help conserve and ensure a better water future. Working with our customers is the best way to reduce water use, improve the reliability and sustainability of our water system and minimize cost. Smart meters provide an outstanding foundation for strong collaboration with our customers. Smart meter customers will now have the tools and information to help save water and save money.

How does it work?

The City of Brighton has chosen a fixed-based network that provides two-way communication from the meter box to strategically located base stations. The City has been installing AMI Transmitters modules on all City water meters during the past year or so. The AMI Transmitter module in conjunction with collector units and repeater units are used to collect and transmit meter reading data, unique identification numbers, operating status at regular intervals to the base station.

Why is the City of Brighton undertaking this effort?

Advanced meter systems are used by the most innovative utilities around the country. These new devices allow for more efficient and timely collection of water usage readings than the current drive by and manual method, providing improved billing cycles, improved safety conditions for City staff and more detailed information to our customers. Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard for Brighton is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the utility department.

How long will it take to complete the project? 

The project is scheduled to be completed in early June 2019.

Can I opt out of having an AMI meter installed at my location?

No. The meter installation process (AMI Transmitter) has already been completed on City of Brighton-owned meter equipment in an effort to have state-of-the-art equipment across our entire service area.

Where does the data from the AMI go?

The City of Brighton has always worked diligently to ensure the safety of our customer’s data. The data is encrypted and will be transmitted securely, allowing electronic reading remotely, eliminating the need for visual inspections in most cases. Our Utility Billing center will be able to provide you with your water usage throughout the billing cycle, allowing you to adjust your water consumption as needed.

Will the AMI device's data transmittal affect other electronic devices in my home or business?

The AMI Transmitter module is installed on your water meter located in the meter pit in your yard or on the meter in your home (if located in house). The data is submitted via radio frequency that is weaker than a typical cordless phone. The radio transmission operates in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices. It will not impact the use of devices in your home or business, or utilize your own data network.

Are there any potential adverse health effects caused by the AMI meter?

Numerous industry and independent studies have shown smart meter technology to be very safe. In fact, smart meter devices, at a distance of 10 feet, has only 1/100th of the radio frequency field of that emitted by a laptop computer. Likewise, cell phones, Wi-Fi transmitters and microwave ovens emit a much greater radio frequency density. On average, 99.999% of smart meters transmit for less than one minute per day.

Can I access daily readings online?

When the system is fully implemented in 2019, water customers will have the ability to access their daily water consumption online in one-hour increments. The City will provide customers with many educational tools and opportunities to ensure our customers fully understand how to use the online system and can easily gather the data that best helps them. It is our goal for every customer to understand and manage their own water use, even before they receive a bill.

 

How does AMI benefit customers?

  • Enhanced levels of customer service.
  • Consistent and timely billing cycles.
  • Minimized need to access meters at the property.
  • Reduction in estimated bills.
  • Ability for customers to track actual water usage, manage usage and make conservation adjustments.

What if there is something blocking or in front of the meter?

Access needs to be available at all times. Access to the water meter ensures it is accessible for any potential emergency that would require the meter to be turned off. Do not park vehicles over the meter pit and be careful during the fall foliage season not to cover your water meter with piles of leaves. During winter months, it is important not to cover the water meter with shoveled snow. Obstructions to the meter box are subject to removal by City personnel.

How will I know that you have my reading and not my neighbor’s?

Each radio frequency device (AMI Transmitter) has a unique identification number which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record electronically to ensure a match.

Does this mean we’ll need more meter readers?

The number of meter readers will be reduced allowing personnel to focus on additional utility-related projects. However, City staff will continue to visit your property for routine service, maintenance, repair and water emergencies. Just let us know what you need assistance with, and we’re happy to help.

Will I be charged for this new system?

The cost of the system is covered in the 2019 budget, with no additional cost to customers.

What do I do if I think my meter is not working correctly?

If you feel that your meter is not operating properly, please contact the Utility Billing Center and we’ll be happy to look into it with you.

How is the installation done?

Many water meters have been replaced and are AMI ready. These meters will simply be fitted with the AMI transmitter.

Older meters will be replaced with new meters and the AMI transmitter.

Installers will clean the area and make sure the new device is working properly.

  • Many water meters have been replaced and are AMI ready. These meters will simply be fitted with the AMI transmitter.
  • Older meters will be replaced with new meters and the AMI transmitter.
  • Installers will clean the area and make sure the new device is working properly.
  • Many water meters have been replaced and are AMI ready. These meters will simply be fitted with the AMI transmitter.
  • Older meters will be replaced with new meters and the AMI transmitter.
  • Installers will clean the area and make sure the new device is working properly.
  • Many water meters have been replaced and are AMI ready. These meters will simply be fitted with the AMI transmitter.
  • Older meters will be replaced with new meters and the AMI transmitter.
  • Installers will clean the area and make sure the new device is working properly.

The meter technician installs the AMI transmitter on the meter located in the meter pit and tests to make sure the device works properly. The meter pit lid is fitted with a small antenna that fits flush to the lid.

The City’s contractor will then install collector units and repeater units at predetermined locations throughout the City on existing light poles, City facilities and tanks to collect metering information from the AMI transmitters and send that information to City Hall computers for processing and billing.

How long will the new device work?

The life expectancy of the devices installed in the field is 20 years. Periodic inspection and maintenance will be performed to ensure all devices are performing as expected.

Will my water bill look different?

No. The look of your bill will remain the same for now, as the installation of the AMI transmitter will not affect your bill itself. More enhancements to the billing process itself will be coming in 2019, separate from this project.