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For product support
Municipal Water solutions: (800) 616–3837
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Telog: 888‑835‑6437 (Press #1)

We're here to help
Contact a Customer Care Representative

We’ll get back to you within 24 hours or the following business day.

Prefer to call?
Customer Care representatives are available by phone Monday–Friday, from 9am–5pm CST.

For sales & general inquiries
Municipal Water solutions: (800) 616–3837
Commercial & Industrial solutions: (877) 243–1010
Wyco Concrete solutions: (800) 233-9926
Telog: 888‑835‑6437 (Press #1)

For product support
Municipal Water solutions: (800) 616–3837
Commercial & Industrial solutions: (877) 243–1010
Wyco Concrete solutions: (877) 243–1010
Telog: 888‑835‑6437 (Press #1)

December 5, 2022

6 Objections to AMI And Why They Don’t Hold Water

Despite the growing adoption of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) among water utilities, misconceptions about the technology, its cost and its effectiveness persist. Here are a few of the most common objections to AMI and the reasons why they don't hold water.
Despite the growing adoption of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) among water utilities, misconceptions about the technology, its cost and its effectiveness persist. Most of these objections are simply outdated, eclipsed by recent advancements in AMI technology.

One of the biggest changes has been the availability of Network as a Service (NaaS). This has removed the burden of building and maintaining a communications network from the water utility. Instead, a third-party vendor owns and manages it. As a result, NaaS effectively overcomes one of the earliest objections to AMI technology: We don't want to pay for and manage all that infrastructure.

Today’s AMI technology, and NaaS in particular, addresses many enduring misconceptions about making the switch. Here are a few of the most common.

1. Network deployment takes too long.

Early iterations of AMI required water utilities to construct radio towers and communication networks. This was a massive undertaking, requiring propagation studies and signal measurement and ensuring adequate redundancy. The process could take 6 to 12 months just to plan, build and test. Today, with NaaS, meters and sensors communicate using existing cellular infrastructure. There is no months-long planning and construction period. Once each endpoint is in place, it can begin transmitting data right away.

2. It requires too many vendors to implement.

NaaS involves a single-source provider that offers network connectivity, meter data management (MDM) software, analytics software and endpoints. There are no third-party network maintenance contracts to manage or cellular carrier contracts to negotiate. And it still affords flexibility because utilities are not locked into a single vendor.

3. Future technologies are not compatible.

While we can never truly anticipate what the future holds, cellular networks and individual transmissions are capable of handling larger data payloads and data variety to accommodate a vast array of future sensors, growth, diagnostics, alarm communications and configuration adjustments. All these considerations reduce the potential future costs of expanding the network.

4. There isn’t enough upfront capital to switch over.

AMI was once considered a technology only for large water utilities because of its hefty price tag; small and mid-sized communities simply couldn't afford the investment in infrastructure. Nowadays, NaaS levels the playing field. Without the need to build and maintain a radio network, utilities need only purchase the endpoints, buy or lease the software, and pay the network service fee. But to truly understand the value, you must look at more than just capital expenditures (CAPEX). With NaaS, maintenance and operational costs are built into the service fees and spread out among all network users, which cuts operational expenses (OPEX) for any single user as well.

5. I don’t see the value or it’s not worth the money.

With limited budgets, water utilities must be extremely prudent about where they spend their money. AMI offers not one but five core value propositions:

  • Cost savings. AMI begins saving utilities money on day one, starting with eliminating truck rolls and manual reads. It also enables utilities to decrease non-revenue water (NRW) and identify pump and treatment inefficiencies.
  • Risk mitigation. AMI helps customers avoid risks by reducing potential water quality problems associated with major pipe repairs, changing demand patterns and environmental hazards. Remote monitoring also protects utility personnel by reducing, or potentially eliminating, work in extreme temperatures and unsafe environments.
  • Sustainability. AMI can be key to achieving sustainability goals. For example, in water-scarce areas, AMI can be used to track customer usage and ensure the utility is meeting reduction goals. Leak detection and prevention help reduce the amount of chlorinated water that makes its way into the environment. And, AMI data can be used to improve overall operational efficiencies, particularly energy efficiency, which has both sustainability and cost benefits.
  • Customer engagement. The world has become thirsty for data. AMI allows water utilities to proactively provide information to end customers about outages, service problems, potential leaks, high bills, potential boil water notices and maintenance activities.
  • Asset management. Water utilities have hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars invested in infrastructure in the form of pipes, valves, hydrants, treatment plants and more. With access to specific or targeted data about water’s movement and treatment, utilities can extend the life of those assets, replacing and servicing the right ones at the right time.

6. Our current system works fine.

Sure, the current system may serve the purpose for which it was originally intended, but is it built for the future? AMI is—and it proposes strong financial, logistic and environmental benefits. The sooner water utilities get started, the sooner they will realize those benefits.

In the early days of AMI technology, water utilities were doubtful of the value and wary of its cost. We've come a long way since then. With technology advances, including NaaS, there’s no longer a need to be skeptical.

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We're here to help
Contact a Customer Care Representative

We’ll get back to you within 24 hours or the following business day.

Prefer to call?
Customer Care representatives are available by phone Monday–Friday, from 9am–5pm CST.

For sales & general inquiries
Municipal Water solutions: (800) 616–3837
Commercial & Industrial solutions: (877) 243–1010
Wyco Concrete solutions: (800) 233-9926
Telog: 888‑835‑6437 (Press #1)

For product support
Municipal Water solutions: (800) 616–3837
Commercial & Industrial solutions: (877) 243–1010
Wyco Concrete solutions: (877) 243–1010
Telog: 888‑835‑6437 (Press #1)