Water utilities are increasingly relying on advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), including smart meters, to increase operational efficiencies and revenues, reduce waste, and improve customer service. The vastly expanded capabilities provided by AMI have a positive impact on how utilities collect data, bill for usage, and communicate with their customers. When considering using AMI, utilities should keep the following factors in mind as they strive to become “smarter”:
Maintenance and Infrastructure
By identifying water losses earlier, smart metering helps utilities shorten the time it takes to find and fix leaks. It also enables more accurate, real-time data monitoring. This will not only result in cost savings, but it will also allow for increased investment and focus on the proactive maintenance of water infrastructure.
Shift in Skills Needed
The transition to smart water metering raises the bar for the expertise needed by those involved in the setup, administration, and upkeep of metering infrastructure. As this technology is used more frequently, more complex skills, like those in IT and communications technologies, will be necessary.
Customer Behavior and Service
Utilities will be able to proactively monitor customer accounts, spot problems, complaints, and inquiries, and quickly resolve them. Additionally, preliminary studies have revealed that consumers’ water consumption decreases by about 15% once they have complete visibility of their usage data.
In conclusion, when considering both the long-term benefits and the improved billing accuracy, the higher initial capital outlay required by smart water metering is more than justified.
To learn more about the Avanti Company and the services and products we provide, including flow meters and collection system meters, please visit us online or call us at 800.284.5231.