Case Study

Proactively Detecting Meter Anomalies in the North West United States

Turning a history of meter failure into significant revenue/labour savings.

AUTHOR

Related Topics

Meter Reading

A U.S. based Water Utility has been serving the North West region for over six decades. They are dedicated to providing a seamless customer experience, yet complaints were up. They needed to discover why, but lacked the insight to do so.

THE CHALLENGE

The Utility realised this was the result of living in spreadsheets, multiple data-systems, and suffering from low data quality. They reached out to NarrativeWave having recognised a need for improvement based on the ongoing costly issues that could have been avoided with proactive interception.

THE SOLUTION

To mitigate issues, the Utility needed to illustrate their existing processes and identify opportunities for improvement. 

Proposed Before:

  1. Abnormalities detected (e.g. “Meter mismatch,” “Overbilling”)
  2. Water utility investigates findings
  3. Utility aims to fix internally
  4. Utility strategises on ongoing improvements/needs/fixes
  • Utility is not in control
  • Outside vendor is responsible for fixing problems
  • Internal time/adjustments are lengthy
  • Reputational risk

Proposed After:

  1. NarrativeWave issues alerts utility of issues (e.g. “Flow anomaly detected”)
  2. Utility can immediately investigate
  3. Confirm meter reading, make adjustment
  4. Request outside agency to confirm agency meter reading
  • Utility catches majority of issues first
  • Utility can immediately investigate
  • Internally productive
  • Perception: Proactive, advanced, in control

THE RESULTS

NarrativeWave was able to detect anomalies in meter activity that could have potentially lead to failure, giving staff an early warning and allowing them to take corrective action before the failure occurred. With over 350 meters in the system this was a significant saving in labour and revenue dollars to the client.

  • Improved the process and used automation
  • Eliminated need for repetitive trips to the field
  • Prevented billing errors
  • Created triggers based on sensor notifications
  • Mitigated complaints
  • Reduced time in the field, failures, and increased visibility
  • Strengthened public perception

Benefits Achieved

  • 90% Reduction in downtime
  • 75% Reduction in time (90 days)
  • 80% Reduction in time to analyse
  • 2x Improvement in speed and accuracy
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