Regional Victorian utility Coliban Water is rolling out stage two of its digital metering program, after installing about 1400 data loggers across six towns in 2018.
The devices record the volume of water consumption at a customer’s meter and send this information to a central database. They are battery operated and spend the majority of their time in ‘sleep’ mode, waking up for a second every hour to transmit data.
Coliban Water Infrastructure Manager Corey Bourne said the program is now expanding to the town of Rochester.
“This is an innovative way we can identify cost savings and network efficiencies for our customers through the timely identification of leaks in our network and at customer properties,” Bourne said.
“We will primarily use the data loggers for customer billing. They can also provide us with a better understanding of customers’ water usage and play a role in reducing water wastage.”
Water meters are currently read quarterly, so it could take months for a leak to be detected without the installation of the data loggers.
A KPMG paper released last year found reduced revenue forecasts, increasing customer demands and government pressure for efficiency savings are making smart meters an attractive proposition for water utilities.
“Digital water metering is an opportunity for water businesses to improve their operational efficiency and their customer experience,” KPMG’s Greg Elliott said.
“It is a key enabler to help businesses meet their strategic objectives, whether those objectives are around quality of service, operational efficiency, or customer engagement and experience.”
Other organisations taking a digital approach include Western Australia’s Water Corporation and SA Water, which has invested more than $4 million in smart technology in Adelaide’s CBD.
Coliban’s digital metering program will be rolled out in four stages over a six-year period.