Water utilities continue to face growing demand in an era of rising energy costs and obsolete equipment. To address these issues, facilities are implementing smart water network solutions that use advanced metering technology through sensors and advanced software. Smart water meter installations are contributing to significant cost savings for facilities as well as consumers.
Operational Costs Eliminated by Smart Water Meters
Smarter water meter installation eliminates the following costs for utilities of all sizes as well as homes and businesses.
One of the most substantial costs to municipalities and water companies is leakages that aren’t detected until thousands of gallons have been lost. In 2019, a reported loss of $7.6 billion was caused by pipe leaks of treated water. However, using sensor technology, data and analytical dashboards are used to pinpoint the smallest leaks before they worsen.
- Labor and vehicle costs for checking meters
Smart meter data delivery is done remotely in real-time. This reduces the number of trucks needed in the field to physically check meters, resulting in decreased vehicle and labor costs.
- Billing errors
Smart water meters provide accurate water usage statistics that eliminate costly billing errors.
- Subcontractor costs for meter reading
Water utility companies often employ subcontractors for scheduled and special meter readings. This cost is eliminated since meter data is remotely transmitted automatically.
- Labor and vehicle costs for service start-up and termination.
With manual water meter systems, utility personnel must be dispatched to the business or home site to either shut off or start-up service. With a smart metering network, this action is done remotely, saving labor and vehicle costs.
- Meter reading errors:
When meters are manually read, there is always the potential for errors in reporting. This results in time-consuming investigations that can negatively impact revenues.
- Energy costs
Water utility companies analyzing data harnessed from a smart meter network can gain insight into water consumption patterns. With this information, utilities can shift resources to accommodate peak periods, resulting in lower energy costs.
- Cyberattack response and prevention
Community water systems are prone to cyberattacks and must be continuously monitored. A smart metering network can quickly alert personnel to suspicious activities. Personnel can then take immediate action to prevent widespread impacts.
- Non-Revenue water
Water that never reaches the consumer or is recorded by meters is deemed non-revenue and is caused by leaks, theft, inefficient meters, and water main breaks. Using smart meters, utilities can more closely monitor the water distribution network to ensure that the quantity of water consumed is equal to the quantity delivered, resulting in increased revenues.
Smart Water Meter Cost Savings Cases
Many cities have already implemented smart water meter systems with beneficial results. Other municipalities are planning to deploy smart water meters to realize cost savings in billing and leak detection.
- The Louisville Water Company in Kentucky currently bills their customers every other month. This is due to their expansive service area with limited meter reading personnel. By implementing the smart water metering network, they will have instantaneous and automated data that will allow them to migrate to monthly billing, which will help customers monitor their usage.
- In Houston, Texas, smart water meters gather information on water usage at 15-minute intervals. This capability will be expanded to notify customers of leaks in real-time, as well as provide water conservation advice.
- The city of Cary, Indiana was the first in the area to implement smart water meters. The system sends out text alerts to consumers if their water usage goes over their usual amount.
The use of smart water metering systems continues to grow as utilities seek to reduce costly inefficiencies. Envocore’s professional smart meter installation and management services can result in a dramatic reduction in non-revenue water, leakage, overflows, and unauthorized consumption. Contact us for more information and to request a proposal for your smart meter project.