wireless reading of electric meter

I have one of the digital meters outside that the electric company reads while driving by.
Is there any way I can read it from inside my house?
I've been tempted to go old school and just mount a couple mirrors so I can read it inside- but a digital reader would be handy- and something that plugs into a computer & records usage would be outstanding.
I'm going to call the electric company [National Grid] later today- but thought I'd ask here so I know a little bit about it when I call.
Thanks, Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

The electric company won't have a clue about it, and the brain dead CSR you're likely to get will think you're trying to steal power.
There is at least one commercial product that does what you want:
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200343109_200343109
It appears the monitor the mark on the spinning disk, so your meter needs to have that disk visible from some location on the case. I've seen a few meters where that was not very visible.
As for the actual data link with the meter, your only source would be the meter manufacturer, and they most likely aren't going to release that information.
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Pete C. wrote: ...

I'm quite sure there are a number of individuals in "the electric company" that will and do have quite a significant "clue about it"...
As someone else noted, they're not going to provide individuals w/ the software/hardware to read them but there's at least a reasonable chance the usage data might be made available via web portal.
--
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dpb wrote:

Let's try not misquoting people eh? The actual quote was "The electric company won't have a clue about it, and the brain dead CSR you're likely to get will think you're trying to steal power.". Yes, someone in the meter department probably has access to the remote read link documentation, however my $5 is that there will not be a single CSR who will know who to contact.

Which is why I suggested researching the meter manufacturer, not the utility.

That is certainly a possibility in some areas.
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the digitals don't even have the disk, so that won't work.
s

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On Tue 28 Oct 2008 06:58:47a, Steve Barker DLT told us...

Some do. Ours has an electronic digital readout, but it also has a disk.
--
Wayne Boatwright
(correct the spelling of "geemail" to reply)
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

They tend to be pretty secretive for obvious reasons about such things and likely no customer service person will know. However you may want to ask if there are any ways to access the information on line. The electric utility here recently finished swapping out the old meters. They installed meters that are read over the power line. They also announced that they will have a web portal so that customers can log in and see the updated meter readings. They already have a portal where if you have a need to know you can see lots of realtime info on their system.
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FYI, they don't even have to drive by. They get the signal through the line back to the office. No, don't ask me how it works, i have no clue. All's I know is that when i had a question about my bill, they were able to tell me the reading over the phone that very minute.
steve

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BzzzzzzzzzzzzT! wrong. they don't drive by.
s

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Steve Barker DLT wrote:

It totally depends on what AMR method the utility chose. Some do a drive by where equipment in the vehicle sends an interrogation to the transponders which then respond with their S/N and the meter reading. Before our local utility went to PLC AMR they actually had walk by meters. The meter reader had a hand held reader and there was an inductive coupler in the meter. That way the reader just had to place the reader close to the meter which greatly minimized misreads.
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Actually they're working on remote controlled meters so they can remote connect / disconnect in addition to remote reading.
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AIUI there are various methods. Ranging from; a) Replacing the mechanical spinning disk meter by a digital one; still read manually. b) A digital meter that can be read wirelessly from a hand-held or vehicle mounted interrogation device. c) A digital meter that can send or be interrogated by wireless/ digitally; either via the power line itself, by an attachment to a phone line or via cell/phone mobile service etc. etc. In some other countries gas supply and water supply meters can/are also read in a similar manner. To what extent these systems would be/are forward or backward compatible would depend on design. For example our digital meter has a display. (It alternately flashes all '8's and then the cumulative kw.hr reading on an LCD display. But it does not appear to have any capability to be read remotely! Nor have I seen any power utility activity or billing info that suggests they yet do any 'remote' reading!
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Yes with a wireless camera.
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