Remote reading of water meters
provides the basis for great
customer service

Botkyrka Municipality, Sweden

Botkyrka Municipality wanted to improve their customer service and satisfaction – including sparing end users the hassle of filling out yearly meter reading cards. In the area of Vårsta, they have therefore replaced their mechanical water meters with remotely read meters to test a system solution with fixed network reading.

Providing great service for their customers is at the top of Botkyrka Municipality’s list of priorities. Combined with an ambition to constantly challenge themselves to keep moving forward and develop in new areas, this led the municipality to explore the opportunities of smart metering for their water supply. 
 
Remote reading saves time and improves service
Botkyrka Municipality’s customers currently read their own water meters manually and submit annual meter reading cards filled out by hand. 
 
With the new intelligent water meters, reading is done automatically and remotely, saving customers in Vårsta both time and hassle.
The implementation of the smart metering system also means that the risk of erroneous or inaccurate readings is reduced so that customers are ensured reliable and precise billing.  And the increased frequency of meter data enables the municipality to better help customers detect leakages and inappropriate water consumption to help them reduce their water usage and save money. 
 
“The one specific benefit we are most excited about is the fact that the meters can now be read remotely. This will reduce the hassle of handwritten meter reading cards and enable us to provide our customers with accurate and reliable consumption data,” says Christopher Helle.
While the new electronic water meters involve a substantial investment, Botkyrka Municipality expects to reap the financial benefits in the long run.
 
The main reason for this will be the time saved from switching to automated meter reading.
 
When the customers read their own meters, the municipality spends a considerable amount of time following up on late or missing data cards.
 
Operation costs are also reduced significantly due to the extended battery lifetime and low maintenance costs for the water meters.

“We want to be able to give great and convenient service to our customers, and we believe that switching to intelligent water meters will take us a huge step towards that goal”, says Christopher Helle, Operations Manager at Botkyrka Municipality’s water department.

High-quality data enables operational efficiency

In the future, the new functionalities of the meter reading system combined with the increased frequency and quality of the meter data will be a valuable tool for Botkyrka Municipality to keep pushing their own development. 
 
Detailed information on, for instance, flow and bursts, can be used as the basis for decision making regarding replacements and repairs on the distribution network, and perhaps a future step for improved customer service includes giving them access to consumption data to encourage engagement and energy efficient behaviour. 
 
“Improved customer service is our main goal, but in the long run, we also expect our new metering solution to produce significant financial benefits and facilitate operational optimisation”, says Christopher Helle.
Solution:
3,000 intelligent water meters (MULTICAL® 21 and flowIQ 3100)
READy network reading 
Hosting services from Kamstrup
Timeframe: The pilot project in Vårsta was initiated in 2013. The decision to implement READy network reading in the entire municipality will be made when the pilot project is completed and evaluated in 2016.
 
Customer:
Botkyrka Kommun
7,900 metering points
Distribution system: 320 kilometres of pipes
Daily water consumption in Botkyrka: 16 million litres

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