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Copper Labs shows how to get more from smart meters
- February 12, 2024
- Steve Rogerson
Colorado-based Copper Labs has introduced a framework to help utilities in North America get more out of their investments in smart meters.
Energy and water utilities across North America have deployed hundreds of millions of smart meters over the past 15 years, but the promised benefits of this equipment still haven’t been fully realised. With investment in new smart meter deployments beginning to stall over the past year, utility technology company Copper Labs believes its AMx framework will help solve the problems associated with advanced meters and wring significant value from existing utility infrastructure.
AMx encompasses nearly any type of meter, from yesterday’s drive-by meters to contemporary AMI and the advanced meters of the future. It is about leveraging converged infrastructure such as existing broadband networks to get even more out of current metering technologies. This kind of approach wasn’t possible when smart meters were first deployed, but interoperable communications technologies have come a long way in the past 15 years.
AMx (copperlabs.com/amx) comes at a time when utilities face emerging challenges in areas ranging from affordability and equity to decarbonisation, resiliency, load flexibility and customer experience, all of which demand enhanced and more timely consumption data to address.
“AMx is a leading-edge, yet deeply pragmatic, framework to help utilities realise the promise of smart meters and spur innovation while reducing system costs,” said Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs. “A large part of the challenges with AMI has stemmed from meter manufacturers’ use of proprietary communications networks that have effectively created entrenched monopolies, prevented utilities from realising the potential of real-time data, and slowed the rate of innovation. That can change with an AMx framework that supports a modern best-of-breed ecosystem and puts utilities back in control of their investments.”
Copper Labs is building an ecosystem of utilities and hardware providers to help implement this.
“Copper is focused on wirelessly accessing granular data from existing electric, gas and water meters and sharing it instantly with utilities and their customers through existing broadband networks,” said Forman. “That capability is a key enabler of AMx, but it’s just one part of the picture. We look forward to working with a wide range of partners in the near term to realise the full potential of AMx.”
Copper Labs’ (CopperLabs.com) patented technology remotely collects near-real-time data from existing utility meters without extensive infrastructure overhauls and at a fraction of the time and expense of smart meter deployments. With the high-resolution meter data Copper unlocks, it empowers electric, gas and water utilities to support an informed transition to a low-carbon economy, increase resilience in the face of a changing climate, improve equity, manage demand, and deliver a better customer experience.