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Cost-effective retrofit device for water meters offers major advantages

13 July 2022 

Cost-effective retrofit device for water meters offers major advantages for property asset management companies

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Property asset management companies are under pressure to ‘do more with less'. Most have now migrated from spreadsheets to specialised software for managing their property assets, which, in turn, allows for some management processes to be automated. However, water metering often proves difficult to integrate satisfactorily in software tools and automated processes.Deer Technology's patented LimpetReader not only makes this straightforward, but it also offers a number of benefits for both property asset management companies and their tenants.

TheLimpetReaderis battery-powered, withstands long-term submersion in water or mud and can be retrofitted to any type of analogue water meter. It is bonded to the meter's faceplate, though the meter's register remains visible in case a visual read is necessary. Nevertheless, there should be no need to take confirmatory readings because the system is immune from drift and the automated readings are treated as visual readings. Installing a LimpetReader only takes around 15 minutes and there is no need to interrupt the water supply.

Each LimpetReader incorporates opto-electronics and is connected to anAutoReaderequipped with 2G/4G/5G (NB-IoT / CAT-M1), or Wi-Fi communication technology. Time- and date-stamped images of the meter's register are uploaded to secure servers at set time intervals, whereupon software converts the register images to numerical values. The consumption data can then be accessed in a variety of ways, which can make it easy for importing into asset management software packages. As a result, tenants can be billed accurately, using actual meter readings instead of estimates. Deer Technology's comprehensive service covers everything from installation through to data management.

With LimpetReaders installed, it is no longer necessary to gain access to premises for taking readings, and there is no risk of human error when taking readings. In some cases, water meters can be difficult to access and are therefore never read. But a meter only needs to be accessed once for installing a LimpetReader, after which its location is immaterial.

Furthermore, tenants much prefer accurate bills over estimated bills, and eliminating estimated bills also ends the need to reconcile tenants' accounts after meters have been read. This saves time, simplifies the management process and avoids complaints from tenants. Overall, the savings in management time can easily outweigh the cost of installing LimpetReaders and AutoReaders.

Even greater savings can be made by monitoring the regular automated meter readings for increases that could indicate leaks. Deviations from established consumption patterns can be highlighted automatically and investigations initiated. Should a leak be identified, it can be fixed as quickly as possible, which could avoid the need for costly repairs and redecorating, and even lost rental income if tenants have to move out. Meter readings can be monitored in unoccupied premises, particularly during the winter months when there is a risk of pipes bursting due to freezing.

If property asset management companies install LimpetReaders, it creates an opportunity for a new revenue stream. Many tenants today will be concerned about their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance, or they may simply want to improve their carbon footprint or reduce operating costs by cutting water consumption. Property asset management companies can offer the detailed water consumption data to tenants so they can quickly see the effect of any changes they make, as well as monitoring for leaks. Bills can continue to be sent monthly but data can be collected - and shared with tenants - more frequently if desired. Once a reporting system has been set up, it will run automatically without any need for management time.

Taking all of the above into account, it can be seen that LimpetReaders are a very cost-effective way for property asset management companies to streamline their operations and reduce business risks.

The concept of ‘smart' metering in the water industry is not new. However, other systems suffer from drift and therefore periodic visual confirmatory readings are still required. Furthermore, these systems may require the meter to be replaced, which is costly and disruptive because it entails disconnecting the water supply. In contrast, the LimpetReader avoids all of these drawbacks.

For more information about Deer Technology's LimpetReader for converting analogue water meters to smart meters, go towww.deertechnology.comtelephone 01639 363146 or


With Compliments:              

Taylor Alden
7 Bell Yard
WC2A 2JR                       
Tel: 020 3137 9041