Jargon buster - simple overview!

aM&T - Automatic Monitoring and Targeting. The combination of AMR and M&T to create an package where the monitoring element is automated, and usually fine-grained.

AMR - Automatic Meter Reading. A system which provides automatic reading of a utility meter or meters, usually on a half-hour (HH) interval.

ATEX - This is the standard which controls the use of electrical equipment in potential flammable or explosive atmospheres. It actually stands for 'Appareils destines e etre utilises en ATmospheres EXplosives' but what matters is that all the equipment we use in gas meter zones is ATEX approved and correctly installed!

CRC - Carbon Reduction Commitment. In the DECC's own words, the CRC is a mandatory scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organisations. These organisations are responsible for around 10% of the UK's emissions. The scheme features a range of reputational, behavioural and financial drivers, which aim to encourage organisations to develop energy management strategies that promote a better understanding of energy usage. In effect, the CRC applies to any organisation with an energy bill of more than about £500K p.a. and it requires detailed reporting of energy consumption and efficiency.

GSM/GPRS - The mobile phone network. GPRS is more commonly used for data transmission, and is used in Elcomponent's remote download and data transfer units.

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

LAN - Local Area Network. Usually a standard Ethernet system that links all the site PCs, servers, printers etc. Used as the backbone for most Elcomponent AMR packages

MAM - Meter Asset Manager

M&T - Monitoring and Targeting. Monitoring and Targeting is well proven energy management discipline, but the term is now often used to describe a software package designed to assist in the M&T process. Some of these packages are now very feature-rich and provide energy and carbon management functionality way beyond the original concept of M&T.

MO - Meter Operator

MPU - Meter Pulse Utilisation (Agreement). Only approved contractors can make data connections to tariff gas meters. Elcomponent carries all the relevant MPUs to allow us to make data connections to our customers gas meters with the minimum of delay.

Real-Time - In the world of AMR, real-time can mean different things, but our real-time systems are exactly that - they update every few seconds to provide a display that is as current as possible

RS485 - A cabled communications network used in AMR systems. Elcomponent systems use the RS485 MODBUS protocol to provide a simple, reliable and low cost network architecture that links directly to a standard LAN.

'Smart' Meter - Specifically, 'smart' meters are defined as meters that can transmit data and also provide control functionality at meter level. The term is also loosely applied to meters that provide data transmission only, although these are technically 'advanced' meters.

SQL - Microsoft-s professional level database product.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The main method by which data is transmitted around Local and Wide area networks. Hardware items are identified by a unique address - their IP address, which may be fixed, or dynamic.

Virtual Meter - A meter created in software by adding and subtracting the readings from 'real' meters.

VHF/UHF - Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency. Radio data collection hardware used by Elcomponent usually operates in the VHF band utilising an Ofcom allocated frequency specifically for AMR. This allows the use of more power and consequently better performance. UHF hardware offers less power, but may offer a small cost-saving.