By Kristie Anderson
When Salisbury-Rowan Utilities in Salisbury, N.C., needed to select a new meter reading solution, the ability to receive data-driven analytics to better understand, monitor and manage its operations was a top priority for the utility’s leadership team.
An Advanced Metering Solution
“Prior to deploying an advanced metering solution, we manually read 22,000 meters each month,” explained Jason Wilson, engineering manager for Salisbury-Rowan Utilities. “We were facing an aging infrastructure and were looking at a meter change-out. We looked beyond just the meters and evaluated metering solutions that could provide additional benefits.”
The utility chose the BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) solution and ORION® Cellular endpoints from Badger Meter. BEACON AMA’s cloud-based software analytics platform provides the actionable information Salisbury-Rowan managers need for improved efficiency, faster leak detection, better revenue management, easier reporting and better customer service.
Large Customers Benefit from More Data
“A nearby town is a wholesale purchase customer, and we also operate their system. As the contract operator, we are required to produce and file reports with the state for monthly water usage. We used to go there every day to read the master meter and record the usage,” said Jeff Jones, senior engineer for Salisbury-Rowan Utilities. “Now, with BEACON AMA, we get the daily readings in the office. We can also see when there is excessive usage that indicates a potential leak, and then we go out and find it.”
At another large customer, reading a meter located in a belowground meter vault was a labor-intensive process that required pumping water out the vault so meter readers could get the reading. With BEACON AMA, the utility obtains hourly reads without going into the vault and the customer can access its usage information to help monitor its system.
Cellular Endpoints Provide Flexibility
For many water utilities that deploy BEACON AMA, cellular endpoints offer many benefits, including no infrastructure requirements, ease of installation, and reliability through a cellular network.
“We initially chose the cellular meter-reading technology because it allowed us to do shotgun deployments throughout our system for customers that need more data,” said Wilson. “We were also able to leverage the investment in our existing ORION® SE fixed network endpoints and infrastructure by integrating them into BEACON AMA.”
Increased Revenues, Improved Decision-Making
“We are now generating increased revenues through more accurate meter reading, and we have an abundance of data that we can evaluate and analyze in order to make better decisions and better forecasts for our utility,” added Wilson.
For more information about Badger Meter’s BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) solution and ORION® Cellular Endpoints, visit www.badgermeter.com.