While smart meters have been in use in many parts of the country for years, many non-municipal utilities, apartment or commercial building owners or property management services are still not enthusiastic about making the change.
A lot of the push back on the change to smart metering has to do with the cost of changing our existing meters to upgrade to the smart meters. However, just looking at this initial cost is overlooking the ways these meters can be used to benefit both customers as well as the utility or the business and property owner.
For customers, smart metering provides the ability to monitor how water is being used on the property and how that is impacting the monthly bill. When consumers see that specific appliances or water usage patterns are excessive, they can make informed choices to assist in keeping the bill at a lower level.
When there is a sudden spike in the bill with no corresponding change in water usage, the customers can contact the property owner or utility to quickly find out if there a leak or a system problem, often saving significantly.
In the same way, smart metering allows businesses to check in on the properties and monitor water usage in real time or aggregated data based on the reporting periods in the system.
For property owners, it will be easy to detect unusual water usage patterns, possible undetected leaks or if water is being used in units that are currently supposed to be vacant. In some cases, it can also benefit the business owner or property manager to implement water saving incentives. With the data readily available it will be easy to track which programs help to decrease water use as well as change water use to off-peak rather than peak usage times.
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