Problem: Manual Meter Reading is Confusing, Outdated, and Ineffective
While utility companies understand the power of tracking water usage metrics, it hasn’t always been easy to collect this data from smart water meters quickly and scalably. Even with recent advancements, which we’ll get into shortly, utility companies still employ those commonly called “Meter Readers” to physically go and collect meter data from individual properties. In addition to being extremely tedious and costly, there are other pitfalls to this system:
Meter Readers are often unable to access the water meter due to weather conditions or the meter’s inaccessible location. This means readers will often have to make return trips, costing utility companies even more for a single read.
This high spend per reading means companies typically check meters only once a month. This limited access to data drastically limits the power of insights such as usage trends and identifying potential outages.
Any time you introduce humans into a process, you introduce human error. Glances and rough estimations on a meter level can lead to inaccurately charging customers.
While customers can monitor their own meters, many find it confusing, causing them to avoid it altogether and potentially feel blindsided when receiving their bill once a month.
In an age where you can unlock your front door from your phone and automate your basic toiletry purchases to appear on your doorstep every month, this doesn’t feel right. However, attempts to digitize this process have not yielded a perfect result. Previous solutions, often referred to as Advanced Metering Infrastructures (AMIs), have struggled to reliably deliver large quantities of data, lack intuitive interfaces that make the data useful, and cost far too much to deploy at scale.