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CP530  Alternative Options to Sub-metering Metering

Many companies are looking to increase metering penetration to better understand their customers and help manage demand but there are some traditionally "difficult to meter" properties that require a new approach.

The main group of "difficult to meter" premises are the older, multi-occupancy buildings that do not facilitate metering of individual dwellings. Many such properties, if metered at all, have a bulk meter with the landlord or manager distributing charges between the occupiers. This removes direct engagement with the consumer, making it difficult to target water efficiency measures. It also limits the meter penetration that can be achieved, making water balances and leakage estimation more uncertain.

Conventional internal meter installations can be used where there is sufficient space and access but this can be disruptive to customers and can be expensive for the water company. With the wide adoption of radio read AMR systems, access for meter reading is no longer a barrier; what companies now need are low cost, non-disruptive techniques. An initial feasibility study has identified a number of options based on novel types of meter and low cost installation techniques for existing meter types.

This project will build on this work and extend it to produce detailed evaluation and testing to allow companies to make cost-effective choices.

BUSINESS BENEFITS TO CLIENTS

  • Cost effective solutions for sub-metering flats and apartments
  • Better direct engagement with customers in such properties
  • Improved data on customer water usage in such premises for fairer billing and improvements in leakage estimation in DMAs with such properties

WORK PROGRAMME

  1. Review and update the existing study to identify any new options
  2. Identify costs and risks associated with each option
  3. Define most viable options for evaluation
  4. Test and evaluate options in lab environment
  5. Specify field trials required before wide-scale roll-out could be considered

PROJECT OUTPUT AND IMPLEMENTATION

  • Cost effective sub-metering solutions for flats and multi-occupancy premises with recommendations for trialling and roll-out strategies

RELATED WRc WORK

  • Desk based sub-metering feasibility study for Thames Water
  • CP476 Development of a full-bore hydrant flowmeter, to draft a specification for such a device.
  • Intelligent Metering Initiative study on difficult cases - which included consideration of properties with communal facilities, where it is uneconomic to meter, third party logging of meters and difficult to access meters.
  • Testing and evaluation work such as under CP461 - Evaluation of New Generation District and Non-household Meters.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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