Patent Number: 7,046,682

Title: Network-enabled, extensible metering system

Abstract: To allow meter data users to have access to needed information and at the same time address the rapidly shifting requirements of the deregulated marketplace, a new business model, apparatus and system are provided. A common metering device measures raw data and a system composed of independent services or applications collect and process raw metered data and then make that data available to interested parties. This new model removes the dependence upon an automatic meter reading (AMR) system provider, as the sole provider, by creating a system to enable a competitive environment where services (applications, information, networking, etc.) rather than systems are selected and paid for on a leased or pay-per-use basis. One example of such a networked-based, extensible metering system comprises a network server, a wide area network coupled to the network server, and a plurality of network-enabled meters coupled to the network. The meters collect data and the network server provides at least one metering application to the meters. In addition, the meters may be programmed to communicate via a predefined protocol and to deliver a protocol interface to a storage medium on the network, which enables the network to provide the protocol interface to users or applications requiring information from the meters and the users/applications to communicate with the meters to access the required information.

Inventors: Carpenter; Richard Christopher (Fuquay-Varina, NC), Kelley; Raymond (Raleigh, NC), Scoggins; Sean Michael (Raleigh, NC), Ardalan; Sasan (Cary, NC)

Assignee: Elster Electricity, LLC.

International Classification: H04L 12/56 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/16/02018