Are Water companies operating restrictive practices when consumers attempt to obtain and maintain consumer interface to fiscal water meters for aM&T?
For those who know what aM&T is and are involved in its implementation for Commercial & Industrial customers/consumers you will understand that the first, primary strategy requirement is to get a comprehensive understanding of all utilities coming across a site boundary and that this is best done by AMRing and analysing the same sensing element by which a consumer is charged i.e. get interface to the fiscal utility meters. Again, for those who understand/install aM&T systems you will know that getting interface to the fiscal meters for this purpose is often fraught with problems.
Situation with Gas
Due to some early formal complaints to OFGAS/OFGEM some 13 years ago interfacing to fiscal gas meters has an established route via MPU agreement for consumers (or their agents). As well, we hope that the ESTA managed ACPCOP will make gas fiscal meter interface easier to assist the role out and adoption of aM&T.
Situation with Electricity
The electricity supply industry and OFGEM have, unfortunately, not got a grip of this situation and often difficult and protracted lobbying is the only current way to get consumer access to their fiscal electricity meters. DECC who’s head office does aM&T by interfacing to their own electricity meter (see DECC Website), promises better things when the EU Directives are implemented. Obviously, DECC consider UK Carbon savings from aM&T can wait for this.
Situation with Water
Unfortunately, in the water supply industry fiscal gas meter consumer/aM&T interface has become increasingly arduous.
Also several water companies who are trying to muscle in on the AMR scene have been accused of being anti-competitive when approached to seek permission to obtain customer interface to a fiscal water meters.
Some water companies are even installing meters that have only a single water meter interface capability which is hogged by them excluding any further consumer interface.
EMT who has been championing aM&T consumer interface to fiscal meters for many years, have been lobbying OFWAT to investigate. And now, at last, they are taking the matter seriously.
Some preliminary suggestions are a water industry standard arrangement similar to the MPU agreement that has evolved for gas meter interface.
Can You Contribute?
OFWAT has asked for more examples and experiences of the water companies’ stance in this regard.
Please send your responses URGENTLY to [email protected]
Energy Metering Technology Ltd