Global meter manufacturer Elster Solutions is trying out a new way of communicating with potential customers and marketing its products with the use of infographics.
Growing in popularity as a viral marketing tool, Elster announced the publication this week of a new infographic focused on the most important questions utilities should answer when evaluating smart meters.
The smart meters infographic – 20 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Smart Meter – focuses on meter evaluation criteria for utilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Smart meters checklist
Developed with Ginger Juhl, a Denver-based utility communications expert and contributor to Metering & Smart Energy International, the questions cover key considerations for safety, accuracy and reliability, dependable performance, life expectancy, minimal environmental impact, and support of evolving applications that leverage meter data.
Technical smart meter knowledge
Under Question 5 What is the failure rate?, Elster states: “Most smart meters have a failure rate of approximately 0.5 per cent. Some – subject to a more rigorous verification strategy – have surpassed this, achieving a failure rate of 0.3 per cent and in some cases as low as 0.2 per cent. Though the difference may seem small, the fewer the failures the better.”
While under Question 10 Is the cover opaque?, author Jeff Richardson, senior product manager at Elster Solutions, writes: “Opaque plastic covers or housings significantly reduce thermal gain and internal heating, improving accuracy and extending the life of the meter. This is an important design feature that you don’t want to be without.”
Jeff Tolnar, VP Systems and Products at Elster Solutions, commented on the marketing device: “Market requirements and best practices vary around the globe. This infographic helps utilities in North America make the most appropriate choices based on fundamental, yet not always obvious questions they should be asking.”
Elster isn’t alone in using infographics as viral marketing to neatly convey information to end users. Below are examples from Telefónica on UK consumers perceptions of smart meters and mobile solutions company iFactor’s predictions on the needs of the utility consumer in 2015.