The top 3 use cases for meter reading software in 2023

October 25, 2022

Man holding phone, standing and leaning on a high counter

Humans make mistakes, no matter who and how. Nowadays, this fact is especially relevant within the utility industry. The current energy crisis is urging consumers to either install a smart meter or frequently read their meters. But did you know that there’s still a large population of energy consumers who refuse to install a smart meter?

This leads to manual meter readings, and that’s where human error comes in. You may not have heard of it before, but a meter reading software that’s improved by AI actually exists - and it is it isdesigned to provide 99.8% accuracy, customer satisfaction, and cost reduction.

What is Meter Reading Software?  

Meter reading software is a technology that gathers usage data from utility meters (water, gas, electricity). It can transfer consumption data to a central portal for billing and analysis.

This technology can be improved through AI, where consumers can collect usage data automatically by photographing their meters.

Why is it important?

The importance of meter reading software lies in its ability to communicate from a distance, allowing customers to read and submit their own data. However, there’s no way to assist customers in collecting the right data. 

With an improved meter reading software that relies on AI, reading meters can be done within seconds by the simple act of taking a photo. Additionally, customers get real-time assistance to ensure full accuracy of data collection. This benefits energy providers who still perform manual meter readings, a process that is known for being time and money-consuming, but also prone to errors.

Who benefits from Meter Reading Software?

Utility companies are currently being challenged by rising energy prices, a crisis that leads to increased demand for accurate usage data and improved data collection methods.

Here are 2 cases where companies applied this metering system and improved their operations: 

Stedin - Savings in operational costs & increased customer satisfaction

Stedin is one of the largest energy providers in The Netherlands, with over 2.2 million customers. When introduced to utility meter reading software, Stedin began collecting data in a smarter way. Now, Stedin finds it unnecessary to send meter readers to households. The traditional meter reading process took a lot of time, and human errors resulted in unhappy customers, wondering why their bills were so high. 

Due to this, Stedin spent a lot of time and money on administrative tasks and validations for errors. When they integrated Blicker as their go-to solution for capturing meter readings, the outcome was phenomenal: 

  • 70% reduction in meter reader house visits 
  • €10 saved per reduced house visit
  • >70% savings in operational costs of collecting meter readings
  • 85% increase in customer satisfaction due to real-time assistance and the elimination of house visits
"There is nothing more simple than just taking a picture to gather your data! For Stedin this is a great alternative for costly and time-consuming house visits of expert and field engineers, whom we'd rather free up to work less on administration and more on the real engineering challenges faced in the energy transition" - Arnold Van Der Bie

Brabant Water - No more manual validation!

With 2.4 million customers, Brabant Water ensures clean and safe drinking water across the southern part of The Netherlands. Writing down meter readings and serial numbers was becoming inefficient for Brabant Water, seeing as 7% of the readings submitted by their customers required manual validation. Similarly to Stedin, Brabant Water realized that this was time-consuming, costly, and required unwanted additional communication with their customers. 

As soon as Blicker was integrated, Brabant Water helped customers get readings right the first time with just one picture from their smartphone. The meter information is automatically stored in Brabant Water’s database. This resulted in:

  • 8/10 average rate of improvement on the work of users
  • 80% reduction of house re-visits 
  • >99% adoption amongst meter readers 
  • 17,4% increase in accuracy (from 85 to 99.79%)

"Blicker is the first solution we have come across that truly enables us to get these readings first-time-right. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, whilst keeping it cost-effective. Blicker is a solution so intuitive and simple that anyone can use it. I think that is what defines the best inventions; creating an easy solution for a complex problem. Something that fits with modern times, as well as the vision and strategy of Brabant Water" - Frank Van Der Putten

Is meter reading software free?

For Dutch households, Blicker will be free during wintertime. This opens doors for getting accurate consumption data, providing consumers with the ability to do regular meter readings by taking a simple picture with their smartphones.

Meter reading softwares are integrated by many companies in the utility industry, ultimately leading them to a better workflow lower costs, and a higher customer satisfaction rate.

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