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A new system for reading and monitoring utility meters has been launched to help businesses and organisations to cut bills.

By helping to identify and act upon opportunities to reduce usage of water, gas and electricity, the Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system, developed by Northumbrian Water Group (NWG), will help businesses make significant savings.

AMR utilises market-leading technology provided by specialist contract partner Zeco Energy to give organisations better control over their utility spending. Using wireless technology, the small, compact data logger installed at the utility meter allows remote communication with NWG's secure online portal.

Organisations involved in trialling the system included Redcar & Cleveland Council and North Tyneside Council, who want to reduce water usage in order to make savings on their bills. AMR equipment was installed at key locations throughout the authority’s estate to help understand out of hours water usage, with one particularly rewarding discovery.

At Redcar, the system identified a single faulty battery – with a replacement value of less than £2 – in a water cistern at Rye Hill School that was causing water usage outside of school hours by allowing the system to flush continuously. By simply replacing the battery, which controlled the flush timings, the annual saving is expected to run into thousands of pounds.

Elizabeth Kemp, from Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “We found the whole process really easy and NWG Pipeline Solutions took care of everything from start to finish. The installation of the equipment was not a problem at all and it didn't cause any disruption to site. Their training was straightforward and easy to understand and the web portal is easy to use and resulted in considerable savings for the council."

 

Andy Sinclair, business development manager at NWG Pipeline Solutions, said: “Automated Meter Reading has been developed to support businesses to reduce a major expenditure through a simple process of monitoring utility usage.

“AMR is adaptable to all utilities and is a great way of delving into an organisation’s utility use and finding ways of cutting usage and, therefore, cutting costs. Sometimes this involves something really innovative, or it can simply be identifying a fault that has caused unnecessary usage.

“We recognise that utility costs, not just water bills, are a big part of business expenditure for any organisation, so the ability to get a good return on a modest investment is something that most business managers can appreciate.”

Jon Kent, chief executive officer of Zeco said: "Working with NWG, we are able to help businesses, local authorities and other organisations to identify issues and find solutions that will help them to bring long-term savings on their utility bills.

"The pilots at Redcar and North Tyneside councils have shown that it is often a hidden problem with a simple resolution that can make a big difference to how much utilities can cost."

For more information, visit www.nwg-solutions.co.uk/amr.

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