The New Approaches Driving Digitisation

An article in the Water and Finance Management Journal recently concluded that Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) programs are of significant value to utilities and their customers. Until a digitisation project is underway, however, authors found many companies and their personnel often don’t understand just how effective AMI innovation can be.

This isn’t unusual. Since the 1950s, the Technology Adoption Lifecycle has continued to demonstrate that a small segment of consumers, the ‘early adopters’ will ‘risk’ relatively new tech. The general population meanwhile, will adopt innovation once conditions change or time proves it to work. Thereafter, adoption accelerates to become the new way we live and work.

A classic example of this is Zoom in 2021-2022. Almost overnight, Zoom become an everyday fixture in companies and households – almost two decades after similar tools like Skype first emerged.

The critical factor in Zoom’s success was obviously, COVID’s restrictions upon travel and office life. But critically, Zoom also made it easy to join an online session without requiring an account. This quickly enabled the user to their end goal and demonstrated value in many other ways. Consequently, Zoom uptake soared. Zoom meetings, webinars and even Zoom family checkins look likely to remain a fixture in homes and businesses – until another new and easier tech emerges, that is.

…I think you’re on mute. Credit: Unsplash

So, how does this all relate to advanced metering infrastructure?

Conditions are changing for utilities and their customers. Australian Government mandates for smart meters, increases in consumer demand and innovative councils are driving the adoption of digital services. As a result, more of us are understanding the benefits. We see productivity improvements between 20-30 percent, real-time insights into consumption, and other benefits that advance utilities into the Industry 4.0.

Indeed, Research by Griffith University in 2019 identified 75 benefits to consumers and businesses that can be attributed to Smart Meters. It states: “of the seventy‐five benefits, approximately half might be considered previously unreported.”

With more utilities undertaking AMI initiatives on a global scale, and digitisation solving long-held problems for industries like banking and manufacturing, there’s a growing consensus that AMI is the future of the utility industry.

Simply put, the value is proven. And new approaches to AMI are providing utilities faster, cheaper and greener ways to digitise services.

How to get smart, faster

Similar to Zoom in a post-Skype world, digital metering tech has evolved to provide a functional alternative to smart meters which can be expensive, time-consuming and complex to install.

Snapi is an AI digital meter reader that provides almost every function of a smart meter – and many that a smart meter cannot. It does this at a fraction of the cost and complexity of traditional AMI programs.

By installing Snapi digital meter readers onto existing analogue meters, this innovation works in multiple ways to reduce cost, time and involvement associated with AMIs, including:

  • Reduced total cost of ownership: including unit cost and installation fees.
  • Zero downtime and no licensed trades required for installation.
  • Boosted ROI on existing infrastructure by extending the lifetime of analogue assets.
  • Reduced implementation complexity and a simple snap-on installation reduces the risk of installation errors.
  • Swifter roll-outs capturing more utility data for analytics, rapidly informing business improvement.

Snapi and other digital reading innovations offer utilities ways to accelerate their digitisation program alongside a fully-fledged smart meter installation.

For more info and to request a demo or trial kit of the snapi meter for your electricity, water or gas utility, click here.

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