Meter networks have a pivotal role in precisely gauging and overseeing water consumption.
A Meter Network involves the interconnection of two or more meters under the same supply.
It plays a key role in the UK’s commercial water market by creating the ability to support accuracy when multiple sites/billing accounts are located on the same premise.
But how exactly do they function, and why are they of such significance?
Meter networks comprise an extensive array of water meters strategically positioned across businesses, industries, and other commercial establishments and allow billing systems to differentiate usage between accounts.
An illustrative scenario where a Meter Network is critical is when a commercial property and a residential dwelling share the same building. To ensure that both the commercial business and the residential property are billed only for the water they individually consume, a Meter Network is introduced.
Typically, a meter network comprises a primary meter and one or more submeters, also called Deduction Meters. The primary meter’s role within the network is to record the consumption of all connected meters. In contrast, the submeter records solely the consumption of the residential property. During invoicing, the consumption of the residential property is subtracted from the total consumption recorded by the primary meter, resulting in a deducted consumption volume for which the residential property is billed. Suppose another commercial property is part of the meter network, and its consumption is registered on a submeter. In that case, its invoice will appear as a conventional single-site invoice, as consumption deductions are exclusively made from the primary.
While meter networks have introduced numerous advantages to the UK commercial water market, they do face certain challenges:
Some businesses encounter issues related to meters that have not been read for extended periods
Customer service personnel can grapple with calculating deductive consumption when consumption values are negative or when managing networks featuring numerous submeters.
Looking ahead, technological advancements hold promise for meter networks. AMR meters offer substantial benefits by providing regular automated readings, creating greater confidence in billing accuracy. We’ll talk about about AMR (Automated Meter Readings) in our next blog post.
Despite the current challenges, Meter networks assume a critical role in the UK commercial water market, effectively resolving the challenge of allocating consumption when multiple sites share the same supply. As technology continues to advance, these challenges are likely to be addressed, with meters poised to resolve the issue of long-unread meters, ultimately ensuring heightened billing precision across the market.