News Feature | February 1, 2016

Smart Water Meter Adoption Rates On The Rise

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

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A major survey of utility executives shows that smart water meter adoption rates are on the rise.

“Fifty-eight percent of water utilities now deploy smart meters, up from only 12 percent in 2014,” EnergyBiz reported.

Water utilities plan to add more smart meters in the coming years. Sixty percent of water utility employees said they plan to put in place more smart meters than they did last year.

The survey comes from BRIDGE Energy Group, a smart grid and utility management services company. The firm surveyed over 20,000 utility executives, managers, and engineers about their attitudes toward smart meters.

When it comes to using smart technology, “utilities still rate reliability as a primary objective, although its relative importance has declined for the second consecutive year, with only 66 percent of respondents rating reliability as priority 1 or 2. 41 percent of utilities are focused on improving operations through work and asset management, and 34 [percent] consider customer empowerment a priority,” BRIDGE Energy Group said in a statement.

Smart meters can provide numerous benefits to utilities, but adopting the technology can mean cost, operational, and consumer outreach challenges.

Some customers are wary of smart electric or water meters, according to the MIT Technology Review.

“The sudden appearance of the technology sparked a national opposition movement, and poor communication by the utilities has not helped matters. In 2010, county officials in Marin County, a liberal bastion in California, voted to block the meters over health concerns. In Texas, Tea Party activists and militia members [began] opposing smart meters and calling them Big Brother-type spying,” the Review reported.

For more on smart meters, visit Water Online’s AMR, AMI And Metering Solutions Center.

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