Top 5 investor owned utility validates Olea’s Meter Health Analytics

A top 5 investor owned utility recognized the accuracy of large meters can negatively impact utilities revenues. Therefore, Olea Edge Analytics installed the Meter Health Analytics (MHA) solution on 50 meters in two cities. A group of 10 failed meters representing an estimated $250,000 in lost annual revenue were selected for further testing and evaluation. One meter was tested, repaired, and returned to service resulting in verified increased annual revenue of $66,644.50 based on analysis of customer bills before and after the repairs.

The first-year payback period on Olea’s MHA solution deployed on the 50 meters is less than 4 months based on the estimated revenue and less than 14 months based on validated revenue on one failed meter. The following 10 failed meters were selected for evaluation:

Seven failed meters were flow tested and one meter’s billing was analyzed after repairs were completed. Two failed meters were not able to be tested due to poor access and one failed meter was not tested as it did not have correct piping for a flow test. In addition to the 10 failed meters selected above, another meter deficiency was identified during the meter survey. A customer installed meter unknown to Suez was identified. This meter was delivering unbilled water to the customer.

7 failed meters were flow tested by a third party. 5 failed meters failed the flow test and 2 failed meters passed the flow test. The two failed meters which passed the flow test were not tested in the range of customer consumption.

Specifically:

  • Meter J saw flowrates of 0.1 to 1.1 GPM during the evaluation period. The lowest flowrate the meter was tested at was 12 GPM
  • Meter F is served by a compound water meter and saw flowrates between 15 and 40 GPM during the evaluation period. The flow test for this meter was performed at 10 GPM, 50 GPM, and 500 GPM.

Flow testing per AWWA recommendations, as described above, highlights a challenge to the validity and appropriateness of physically flow testing water meters. Fundamentally, flow testing a water meter at 2, 3, or even 5 flowrates does not ensure the meter is tested with in the range of actual service flow. Additionally, the process for flow testing typically occurs at different pressures then service which may contribute further to a difference between flow testing accuracy and service accuracy.

Overall, the implementation of Olea’s Meter Health Analytics solution successfully realized over $66,000 (a 50% increase) in verified annual revenue improvements and over $214,000 (a 31% increase) in additional estimated annual revenue improvements. The solution was further validated with failed flow tests on 5 meters.