Billing vs Metering Accuracy
While it may be true that meters are initially calibrated under strict laboratory guidelines to ensure stated accuracy before they’re installed, meters and meter sites aren’t always perfect. If you are not using a utility revenue protection unit like a PowerMaster, one or more of the following errors will remain undetected:
Faulty connections, incorrect wiring, incorrect wire gauge, missing commons, and grounds all can lead to significant error rates in individual meters. At a residential site, this error may add up to small amounts of revenue loss, but at industrial sites, the losses can be significant.
CT and PT errors
When CTs and PTs are overburdened, installed in the wrong accuracy class, incorrectly labeled, incorrectly sized or the wrong ratio, errors can be compounded. Even if you’ve tested the meter and it’s working perfectly, installation errors may still lead to revenue loss.
Sometimes a simple error can lead to big losses. For example, when the billing multiplier is incorrectly entered into your system and the error is not discovered for months or years later, the losses can be large.
Theft of services
And, finally, meter diversion, CT tampering and test switch tampering by electricity thieves can lead to significant losses as well. A regular meter site testing routine can catch these thieves early.
Problems Can Become Exponential
Let’s take a look at how small errors can lead to huge financial losses. At a typical commercial site in your utility district, you may have a meter site that has several problems. The meter is off just slightly. The CTs are overburdened by a few loose connections here and there. And a typo at the administrative office caused a small billing mistake. Our research shows that a 33% loss to the utility at such a meter site is typical.
The national average cost of electricity is estimated to be $0.12/kWh.
Now using a simple formula, we can see how a small error can lead to exponential losses.
Usage X Cost X Error = Loss
Here’s how it might stack up at a single commercial site:
In this example, a single site can cost a utility district more than a million dollars in five years.
So how many sites are costing you money in your district? It’s a chilling question…
Powermetrix Integrated Site Testing Solutions
With Powermetrix’s utility revenue protection unit, you get a full-site solution. We don’t just test the meter. Our utility revenue protection analyzer tests the whole site. This will give you the utility revenue protection you and your customers demand.
- SITE DIAGNOSTICS – vector diagram analysis, harmonic analysis, waveform analysis
- METER SITE TESTING – customer load and phantom load
- CT & PT TESTING – ratio, burden, and burden measurement
- ADMINISTRATIVE ACCOUNTABILITY – cross check test database with billing database