Texas municipal utility nears completion of smart water meter rollout


In the US state of Texas, the city of Abilene is nearing the completion of its smart water meter installation programme in partnership with Pedal Valves.

Since the launch of the smart water meter rollout project in 2019, the city has installed 41,000 units of the 43,000 set to be installed. This means the smart meters project is now 98% complete.

The need to implement an advanced metering infrastructure rose as the city sought new ways to enhance operational efficiency. The smart meters will eliminate door-to-door travelling by staff to read consumer water usage manually, a process that is prone to human error. The project will also eliminate estimated billing and ensure accurate water billing, a win-win scenario for both the utility and consumers. Financial benefits for the utility will also rise from quick detection of water leaks which result in high non-revenue water.

Customer service benefits are also expected from the customer portal which has been developed as part of the programme. The portal will allow customers to access their water usage data in near-real-time and leverage the data to improve their water consumption and reduce costs.

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Commenting on the advantages of the customer portal, Amanda Pope, the city’s public information coordinator for water, said: “It provides a lot of information for the customers including the ability to activate various notification tools, such as consumption and billing limits.”

Consumers will be able to use billing alerts to know when they are exceeding their water usage and costs budget and adjust.

Consumers waiting to have their smart meters installed include very large facilities like hotels where meters are very big and the installation would affect a lot of other customers.

Also affected are a selection of one-inch meters that required reprogramming to reflect accurate flow rates, though only a “small number” remain, Pope said. The project is expected to be complete by end of this year.