presents a special series of articles that clarifies misconceptions and reviews the progress and pitfalls regarding automated metering technology.
Time and time again, the advancement of new technologies has been misunderstood.
In the decades before the personal computer revolution of the 1980s, the chairman of Digital Equipment Corp. said, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." And who can forget IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, in 1943, predicting a world market for just five computers? Only decades later would the world come to understand how revolutionary computers really are.
Likewise, the promise of automated meter reading (AMR) has been lost on those who would benefit from such a technology, many experts say. They describe a technology which, much like computing, has been underestimated, misapplied, and certainly misunderstood.
But things are starting to change. An AMR revolution may be in the making.
No longer seen as a technology that just improves customer billing, AMR is seen by leaders such as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state public utilities commissions across the country as a vital component to state-wide resource planning.
Craig F. King, an energy expert and leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Utilities Tax Practice, says the industry is buzzing as a result of a paradigm shift in thinking over the benefits that AMR can bring.
Moreover, utility executives are becoming more aware of the company-wide benefits of AMR, and the greater understanding of customer consumption the technology brings.
Our provides a series of articles allowing for an in-depth understanding of the implications of the trends in AMR.
In the supplement, AMR guru Howard Scott explains AMR technology development, the types of utilities pursuing AMR, and their reasons for doing so. Then, AMR experts Dan Delurey and Chris King show how real-time metering can yield conservation benefits. Last but not least, Mark Leach debunks the myths of AMR, and explains the technology's true value proposition for utilities.
Will AMR have the same transforming effect for utilities and their customers that personal computers had in fueling the information revolution? Read on for insights, studies, and some myth-busting. -Richard Stavros
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