Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or AMI for short, are high-tech water meters that have lots of new features. These new meters allow customers to track their usage on an hourly, daily or monthly basis through an online portal. Read on for some of the benefits of AMI meters and how the data they provide can help to detect potential water leaks, meet local guidelines, conserve water and get better customer service.

1. AMI Meters Can Provide Timely Notification of Leaks

Water conservation is at the driving force behind San Jose Water's (SJW) AMI program. Replacing traditional water meters with data-centric AMI meters can provide customers with round-the-clock readings and alert them to anomalies that may indicate a leak. With Internet access to data in real-time, users can see changes in water usage as they happen and also monitor long-term patterns.

Imagine being at work and getting a text or email that there is a leak at your unoccupied home? A quick response to this situation not only saves water but can protect your home from water damage. Wondering why your water bill shows high usage? Log on to your personalized online portal and see the usage pattern at your home. Perhaps a malfunctioning irrigation timer is turning your sprinklers on daily instead of twice a week. All this information and more is available at your fingertips. There’s no need to wait for a bimonthly bill or manually read your water meter to detect abnormalities in usage.

2. AMI Meters Provide Customers Guidance for Meeting Local Guidelines

California’s drought has raised water awareness to new levels.

With AMI meters, customers can track their water usage at their fingertips and adjust it to meet their needs. This info allows customers to budget their water usage more effectively.

3. AMI Meters Support Customer Conservation Efforts

In addition to state and locally-mandated water use regulations and restrictions, many water-wise customers self-impose their own standards to conserve water. AMI meters make it easy to set personal budgets and conservation goals. In addition, AMI meters allow curious customers to experiment and to see the difference certain actions make in water usage. Want to know exactly how much water your irrigation system uses? Simple! 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 stay within a particular water rate tier. San Jose Water quantity charges are divided into three categories (0-6 CCF for first tier, 7-36 CCF for the second tier and over 36 CCF for the third tier), so usage can affect overall consumption charges.  (Note that 1 CCF = 748 gallons of water.)

4. AMI Meters Result in Efficient Service

Finally, AMI meters help customers receive more efficient service quickly. Because customers have full access to their water usage data 24 hours a day, they can become proactive participants and contact SJW with any water usage concerns as they happen. This eliminates the need to wait for a bi-monthly bill to notice that something is amiss (like excess water use that may indicate a leak).

Additionally, because water usage data is available on a timelier basis, there is less need to send a field service investigator to the site to reread a meter because it’s available 24 hours a day. What’s more, SJW and the customer can view the same water use data simultaneously and discuss any concerns.

These are just a few ways the AMI meters are empowering customers to take control of their water usage and make decisions that are best for them. Learn more about AMI meters and their benefits on the SJW website.