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We have posted a number of blogs over the years concerning the impactful role of route optimisation in the reading of energy and water meters. These blogs have primarily been focused on the UK meter reading market. This blog has a more international angle and centres on water rather than energy meters.
Across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East the drive for greater efficiency and improved customer value in the energy sector is being met through smart meter programmes. Oman, for example, is on target to meet its 2025 commitment to roll out 1.2 million smart meters to all energy users – industrial and domestic. Not all countries in the MENA region are as advanced as Oman when it comes to energy meters. And the application of smart meters for water meter reading operations is well behind those for energy meters – across the globe.
Until the roll out of smart meters for the water industry becomes the norm, which won’t be for at least another 10 years, there are several ways to reduce costs in water meter reading operations. These most common cost saving measures include:
Due to ongoing water shortages, and an increased awareness of water conservation in the MENA region, some experts suggest that there is growth potential for AMR programmes evidenced in part by China providing affordable AMR meters to countries in the region. Other experts highlight the increasing implementation of smart meters into public building such as hospitals & schools as evidence of increased investment. Key infrastructure and financing challenges remain and are the primary blockers to smart meter roll out for the water sector in the region, rather than the meter technology itself.
Until these financing and infrastructure challenges are overcome, route optimisation software & services will remain an essential tool for water meter reading operations (AMR or other traditional) as it helps to improve efficiency, reduce costs, reduce CO2 and enhanced customer management which in turn should lead to improved customers satisfaction.