Meter Reader

Is anyone aware of a device that can be used to read power/water meters? I believe the technology is called AMR. I’d like to be able to pull real time usage stats from my meters to monitor usage. I don’t mind writing the binding for it if one doesn’t exist, but I cant even find a piece of hardware to do it. Thoughts?

From shortcut you brought you can deliver multiple results, one of them is “automatic meter reading”.

Which continent/country you are asking for? For EU most likely you need to look for a way to receive data from wireless m-bus devices.

I believe AMR and AMI are somewhat generic terms and not technical standards.

The only solutions I’ve seen for that sort of thing has involved either a camera and some OpenCV stuff to count the tics or read the numbers, or Software Defined Radios (SDR). But I don’t think the transmissions or protocols are standardized. I know from talking to my water district that our meters actually communicate via cellphone data (I think GSM) and it’s encrypted so even with an SDR it won’t do much for you.

At least in the UI a number of utilities have provided APIs to pull usage, though the data resolution isn’t that fine usually.

For power, there are any number of devices that can clamp on to the outside of the major wires going into/out of the circuit box that passively measure electrical usage. I’ve an old Aeotech DSB09 Zwave power meeter which is astonishingly accurate (my estimated bill calculation is usually within pennies of the real bill at the end of the month).

For water, I’ve been toying with getting a valve to put just after the main shutoff for the whole house to measure and report usage. Our natural gas isn’t expensive enough to worry about (yet).

Im in the US.

My goal is basically to communicate the same way “the guy who drives down the road to read the meters” does. They swapped ours out a few years ago so now they just drive down the road and get the signal. I was hoping to just have an antenna somewhere and periodically pulse the meters for usage.

Wireless M-Bus didn’t get much of traction in US market, however it is not absent there. :wink: Solution you describe is sometimes refereed as “drive by” or “walk by”. Most of metering stuff will be based on sub-ghz frequency and meters are broadcasting their data every 40-120 seconds or more, depending on standard and desired battery lifetime.
Try finding label of meter, based on it you might be able to find what kind of radio communication it uses. There might be some difference between electricity and water meter as one have a way to get power while other will rely exclusively on battery.

In British Columbia, Canada, we switched to smart meters in 2011. There was a big pushback from people who thought that the radios would be a health risk and/or that BC Hydro just wanted to track them (sigh), so the rollout took much longer than it should have. It also means that they have detailed webpages specifially to address health risks and privacy/security.

Meter-reading devices are installed on hydro poles to communicate with the meters, but there are still some areas where humans have to visit properties to download data manually.

Rainforest Eagle home energy monitors work with BC Hydro smart meters…maybe they’re available to you? Unfortunately for me, they don’t work in condo buildings.

I just got a smart water meter here in Australia 2 weeks ago and I believe it uses lorawan and the batteries should last 10 years.
The council says they will provide a portal to see the water usage etc so when that happens I may be able to grab data from that and put it into Openhab.

Pictures are worth 1000 words.

This is our new energy meter. There are several things on here including a zigbee certification. I know they don’t drive onto the property to check it so im assuming its some kind of low frequency RF as said above.

Have a look at this project Welcome - AI on the Edge Device.

Thanks all! Lots of good info. I’ll start to go through it and see what works for my area.

Had the same thoughts as you and for power monitoring I use the clamp-on power meter from Aeotec (Aeotec Home energy Meter Gen5) which gives me very accurate results.

Water monitoring turned out to be a bigger challenge. Was initially going down the same route as you to see if I could somehow tap on/monitor the existing water meter, but all solutions became to much of a DIY construct. The solution I eventually landed on was the Grohe Sense Guard device, reasons where:

  • An openHAB binding was available
  • It had water monitoring capabilities
  • It had water leakage/broken pipe protection capabilities

The Grohe binding has some flaws, see post Fix Grohe Binding offline issue and I needed to tweek the statistics gathering a bit but eventually got what I wanted; Aggregated daily consumption (red) and aggregated weekly consumption (green), see example below.
(during first two weeks, house was empty so consumption was only irrigation).