Tapping into the Smart Meter Industry

With last week’s global initiative to highlight the importance of water conservation (World Water Day 2011), we’re excited to be out in the forefront of the new market of building “Smart Meter” water consumption monitoring technology. This industry is expected to grow tremendously in just the next 5 years as the water scarcity concern in the US continues to rise. Water utilities are very quickly seeing the advantage of offering consumption monitoring to their residential and business customers to help lower the risk of water shortages.

A recent report from Pike Research states that “cumulative global investment in smart water meters will total $4.2 billion during the years from 2010 to 2016, with annual market revenues reaching $856 million by the end of the period, a 110% increase over 2010 levels.”

What exactly is a “Smart Meter?”

Water meters can be considered to be “smart” when they are equipped with a sensor device that can communicate meter readings to the Internet via an ethernet or cellular connection. This is where the M2M (machine-to-machine) communications concept fits in. Instead of people walking from house to house to manually collect and record meter readings, the meters are able to send their own readings to a web application on predetermined, regular intervals. This information is now able to be utilized by both the water utilities and by the end consumer by organizing the consumption data into monthly and daily reports of how much water is being used by a household or a business. Thresholds can be set to trigger alerts to consumers when certain usage levels have been reached or when a significant spike in use has occurred. Imagine being able to receive an email when your vacation home has a pipe burst and is flooding the basement! In most cases, you wouldn’t find out about these types of emergencies until your next visit or if a neighbor notices and calls you.

Our Current Work with Smart Meters

Coreon Group out of Austin, Texas is working with New Boundary Technologies to coordinate the technology components of offering web-based smart meter monitoring solutions to water utilities, where water scarcity is becoming a reality.  Darron Poulsen, Customer Service Officer of Cucamonga Valley Water District in California, states, “This technology finally brings water into the ‘smart meter’ realm. It is a vital tool that will help change customer behaviors towards conservation of our scarce water resources.” 

Christopher Boyle, Founder of Coreon Group, states, “People generally want to do the right thing and conserving our natural resources is the right thing to do. Whether it is one person or an entire community, we just need to make it easy.” 

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