Water meters have historically been an issue for municipalities. They are clunky, challenging to read (and sometimes to access) and not always accurate. People are less and less tolerant of a meter reader entering their property to get a reading. Thankfully, there is a better way. Modern smart metering offers a wide variety of benefits for municipalities and customers. Smart meters are part of the Internet of Things, and they transmit data via wireless networks and the internet directly to the utility provider. Here are some reasons why you should upgrade to smart meters:
Smart meters tend to be more accurate than traditional meters. This reduces apparent water loss and helps ensure that your customers really are paying for the water they are using, no more and no less. This can result in significant savings for the company, without causing noticeably higher bills for any one customer. Most accuracy errors are small, but when they spread out across a large number of consumers, this can result in significant apparent loss.
Real Time Leak Detection
With a traditional water meter, checked once a month, the first notice a customer has of a leak is an unexpectedly high water bill. With smart meters, an unexpected increase in usage can be flagged immediately. The data can be provided to both the utility and the customer, allowing both sides of the meter to be checked for leaks.
This both protects the customer from a high bill and helps with water conversation by ensuring that leaks are fixed in a timely manner. By using the networked data from a number of meters, leaks elsewhere in the system can also be detected and fixed sooner.
Improved Water Management by Customers
Water conservation is a big topic. With smart metering, customers can also assess and visualize their own water usage over time. In addition to detecting leaks, this can help the customer budget their water use. For example, they can tell exactly how much water they are using to irrigate the garden and use this to easily see the benefit of irrigating at a cooler time of the day, which uses less water.
High Level Data Analysis
By analyzing the data from the smart meters, you can follow water usage more accurately over time. This can be used to inform conservation efforts and also to show you how your water infrastructure is being used. Knowing exactly how much water is being used at any given time can be highly useful for future planning.
No More Meter Readers
Because the smart readers send their own data, there is no need to send a meter reader around every month. Instead, you can make more occasional visits to check and calibrate the smart meter (in some cases, you can even get the customer to do this). This saves money and energy and also helps protect the safety of staff.
Smart metering eliminates issues where meter readers are unable to gain access to the property, or where they are placed in an unsafe situation (for example if the property owner has a large dog). It also means that you don’t have to take, and then later correct, estimated meter readings during inclement weather.
Remote Shut Offs for Revenue Control
If you have to shut off water for non-payment, smart meters allow you to do so remotely. This means that no personnel are placed in potential danger when they need to shut the water off. It can also be turned back on remotely, allowing faster restoration of service.
EnvoCore provides smart meter installation for municipalities. We can quickly replace your metering system and help improve customer service and meter accuracy, as well as providing significant conservation. Contact us to request a proposal today.