Australian Utility Week brings together digital water leaders this November in Melbourne
AMI digital metering is a key enabler for utilities seeking to develop a digital operating model and a business model that puts their customers first. Digital metering is also an essential tool in demand-side management and end-use efficiency programs. This is relevant to both the power and water sectors.
Australia’s water utilities and regional councils have been watching the strategies adopted by the electrical utilities in rolling out their digital metering programs. Many have run digital metering test trials to ensure they maximise the analytics platforms and provide benefits back to the enterprise and to customers.
Currently, automated meter reading (AMR) systems are dominating the country's pilot rollouts. The demand for utilities to implement sophisticated two-way communication enabled advanced metering infrastructure is still limited. However, large utilities seeking to future proof their water metering systems are likely to adopt AMI digital systems.
Regional councils have been the first movers to roll out digital metering systems with a view to reducing operational expenses. Mackay Regional Council has completed its AMR rollout with Cairns Regional Council and Townsville City Council close to starting a digital metering program including the development of user interfaces that will allow customers to monitor water usage on a daily basis.
Some of the bigger water utilities are said by analysts to be close to beginning large scale digital water meter rollouts. This includes Unitywater, Melbourne Water, City West Water, South East Water, Yarra Valley Water, and Sydney Water. The main hurdle is said to be traditional AMI communication network costs. However emerging communication options such as LPWAN may substitute current technologies and drive down costs.
Australian Utility Week 2017 on 29-30 November, Melbourne, is large digital utility expo that profiles the digital strategies of water and power utilities. We focus on AMI digital metering and are currently collecting the digital leaders from water utilities who seek to highlight their digital progress including metering strategies and customer demand programs.