SJW workers covering a water shut off valve in front of a house

Advanced Metering Infrastructure

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) offers the ability to access an online portal or smartphone app and see your water usage in real time. What does this mean for you? An easier and faster way to read your meter, detect leaks and monitor your water usage.


AMI Benefits

  • Remote, real time access to water usage at your convenience

  • Ability to monitor water usage and manage bill size before your bill arrives 

  • Set alarms to indicate usage spikes and/or possible leaks

  • Early stage leak detection for quicker repairs


What is Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)?

Advanced Metering Infrastructure, sometimes referred to as “smart meters” or AMI, is an innovative technology that transforms the way customers and utilities can monitor water usage. AMI automatically and securely sends water usage data over a wireless communications network on an hourly basis, where it is stored in a cloud-based system. With AMI, you can track your usage on an hourly, daily or monthly basis by using an online portal or smartphone app.

Currently, SJW staff provides you with manual meter readings on a bi-monthly basis as part of your bill, which reduces your ability to manage your bill, conserve water and detect leaks early on.

How do you know that AMI works?

From 2015 through mid-2017, SJW piloted AMI technology in the Willow Glen area of San Jose to assess different metering technologies and transmission systems, and to evaluate the water saving potential of these new meters. The program compared water usage pre- and post-AMI implementation for about 400 customers. Overall, the pilot AMI program demonstrated significant customer benefits, including 24-hour access to water usage data, early leak detection, and timely notification about usage spikes.

Many customers have asked for this technology and we are excited to provide it to our full service area.

Why do I need AMI?

It turns out that viewing water usage has a pretty significant effect on how people save water and money! 

AMI technology will allow both our customers and staff to work together to minimize water loss through leaks, improve water management and promote equity and sustainability resulting in cost-savings for you, while furthering the state’s ambitious water conservation goals.

AMI is free, easy to use and puts real-time data in your hands to show how much water your household is using (through a smartphone app or online portal). Readings are made hourly so you can get a better understanding of the amount of water you’re using and make quick adjustments as needed.

How does it help me reduce leaks?

With 24 readings a day, AMI can show a spike in water usage, which may indicate a leak. If this happens, the leak can be fixed before it escalates. In contrast, currently, you might only know about a leak by reviewing the consumption information on your bill (available once every two months).

Does AMI help save water?

Yes, AMI has been shown to reduce water usage. AMI technology provides information that helps both you and SJW use water more efficiently. AMI meters make it easy to set personal budgets and conservation goals. You can even experiment and see the difference certain actions make in your water usage.

Want to know exactly how much water your irrigation system uses? Simple! You’ll be able to go online and see your water usage before and after your sprinklers run in the middle of the night. AMI meters are especially helpful if your goal is to stay within a particular water rate tier. SJW quantity charges are divided into three categories (0-3 CCF first tier; 4-18 CCF second tier; and over 18 CCF third tier). Usage can affect overall consumption charges (Note that 1 CCF = 748 gallons of water).

In our pilot study, we found many examples of water conservation. On Day 1 of the pilot, a leak registering 72 gallons per hour was identified. Quick notification from SJW allowed the customer to repair the leak and reduce water loss. Without AMI, the customer wouldn't have known about the problem until their next bill — almost 2 months later! AMI helped to avoid a high bill and possible property damage.

What is this legislation that I keep hearing about?

Following California’s historic drought (2014-2017), Governor Jerry Brown and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) put in place permanent water use restrictions and other policies to make conservation a way of life in the state. Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668, both signed into law by Governor Brown, define urban efficiency standards for both indoor and outdoor use and address the need to minimize water loss through leaks. Enforcement by the state will begin in 2025. Additional guidance and policies are being developed by the SWRCB in advance of enforcement which will begin in 2025. We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Why do we need to keep conserving water when we aren’t in a drought?

Conservation technology like AMI is more critical than ever — past droughts in California have left a prolonged impact on our community, and scientists predict that climate change will only continue to affect our state’s water supply. With climate predictions anticipating longer periods of drought that can stress our water supplies, conservation has become a necessary part of living in California.