Meter readers are an essential part of a power company's structure. These companies really on these workers as an important asset for determining the power consumption of their customers. Once they asses how much energy a customer has consumed, they then charge the customer the appropriate rate. The use of these employees to collect information on power consumption is an inefficiency that can be easily eliminated. By automating this data collection these companies stand to save a lot of resources that can be deployed in other areas.
Power meters could have a cell modem installed into them for low cost. These cell modems can transmit small bits of data - similar to a text message. These signals can be decoded to check the readings on the meters. Installing these will lower fixed costs and raise profits.
- Image 1 taken from Hackaday.com
- Image 2 taken from whatsmoke.com