The relationship between water and energy utilities and the customers they serve is changing. The exercise of sending a bill in the mail and receiving a payment in return is giving way to a very different style of interaction. It can now be a relationship defined by real-time, two-way communications, powered by innovative technology and measured by an increase in customer satisfaction. What was once transactional is becoming personal.
Sensus and BAI have partnered to transform the utility-customer ecosystem. The two companies will design, supply and install a digital infrastructure that will enable utilities to remotely and continuously monitor and diagnose problems and pre-emptively prioritize and manage maintenance issues. Data from smart sensors, including meters, will ensure the reliable, safe and cost-effective delivery of water and energy through improved operational efficiency and customer engagement.
"Australian utilities now have access to proven industry leaders to help meet the increasing demands of a digital world," said Mary Wilson, director of smart metering, Sensus Australia. "In the same way that data analytics give utilities insight into system performance, customers can use real-time usage data that helps them conserve water and energy."
BAI is the owner and operator of extensive digital transmission infrastructure in Australia. "Australia is a highly complex digital nation and it is BAI's goal to ensure our customers' communications networks are able to take advantage of this. Our partnership with Sensus made perfect sense as both organizations are clear leaders in delivering networks that are built for the future," said Mr. Jim Hassell, Group CEO of BAI.
The Sensus FlexNet® communications system uses dedicated, licensed spectrum in a private, secure network that supports multiple applications and is flexible for future growth. A trusted and proven communications technology, FlexNet is based on open standards and can support capacity and reach requirements. It is interoperable with multiple systems and endpoints for delivering data that helps utilities respond quickly to changing market and customer requirements.
"The Sensus-BAI partnership, in particular, can help water utilities combat the growing demand by supporting data that helps conserve resources," said Wilson. "By offering a bird's-eye view of the system, water utilities can manage their assets through timely maintenance that prevents service disruption and enhances reliability."
Water conservation in Australia is critical. A global water utility report discovered the country currently loses 18 percent of its potable water through leaks. A smart water network, featuring the Sensus FlexNet system, detects leaks and allows utilities to predict and address future issues throughout the water distribution system. With its growing population, the demand for water in Australia is rising, which makes it more important than ever to deploy digital technologies that enable automation, control and insight into system performance and consumption.