If water is running through our fingers, if Homo sapiens is a common and stupid waste of it, then smart water meters are clearly needed. They will also be useful for catching scammers and thieves who simply steal water. Especially since for modern man the tightening of the tap, the saving of water, its rational economy, the replacement of seals, etc. are still and often abstract notions. It is sad that to properly manage water man has to use artificial intelligence and legal coercion.
This time, although it seems far away, will come sooner than everyone thinks. From January 1, 2027, smart water meters will be a mandatory part of the infrastructure of our homes by law, after the President of the Republic of Poland signed the law of April 20, 2021 amending the law on energy efficiency and certain other laws. Its provisions require owners or managers of multi-unit buildings to install smart water meters. The main legal objective of the new legislation is the implementation of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) on energy efficiency into national law.
Not just on paper
However, the new regulations are not only provisions on paper, but a simple obligation to install a specific device in a given place. There are also many other aspects that consumers and suppliers of water know from practice – from everyday life. And smart water meters should change everything for the better, that is, make water more and cheaper. As water consumers, we must know and remember that the replacement of the old water meter with a new one – smart – in accordance with the legal assumptions of the new legislation must be implemented within the framework of various types non-repayable grant programs. The law also stipulates very precisely that the costs of implementing this type of replacement/installation are borne by the company, and not by its client, ie the recipient of the water.
They are already exchanging
Many companies, thanks to efficient management that manages strategically and leads a long-term development policy, are already preparing to respond to the European directive and its transposition into national regulations. And there are those who have already done it. So there is a chance for the timely implementation of the new rules.
– I have the impression that the requirements of the directive include surreal dates. But since sooner or later we will have to do it, it is better to do it faster, better prepare for it, work under the pressure of background tasks, and not rush and time it. Especially since they are useful devices. It turns out that in our business we can further reduce water loss and accrue greater profits. In the long term, it is also beneficial for the beneficiaries, because although it does not stop the increase in prices, it indirectly positively affects their reduction – says Jan Mrzygłód, President of Zakład Wodociągów i Kanalizacji in Andrychów.
It may be strange, but now Andrychów waterworks have more customer interventions and complaints due to the introduction of new smart water meters.
– People complain that water consumption is increasing and water meters are simply more accurate. Moreover, they not only accurately measure the amount of water used, but also react and register the attempts of fraudsters, i.e. stopping water meters or moving them – explains President Mrzygłód .
The services of the Andrychów water supply company are used by 8,600 people. clients.
Already, with almost 7 thousand. among them, the Andrychów water plant replaced old water meters with modern, smart meters. Currently, the cost of such a device is about 280 PLN net, and according to the law it is paid by the company, and not by its client.
– The very reading of water meter data is also important to us. In the past, this had to be done by the collector. And it wasn’t always easy, because often people weren’t home or the water meter was covered in a strange way. And various problems arose. Now our car is moving slowly through the streets where our smart water meters are installed in buildings, and we have all the data very quickly read remotely by new devices. This is also an important element that is important for the proper functioning of the company – emphasizes Jan Mrzygłód.
Useful for everyone
A water meter, although it is an important, even very important, part of the water supply and sewage infrastructure of our apartments and houses, is only one of its elements. But along with others that are properly configured and cooperate well with each other, it has become an indispensable part of the equipment of living quarters. And that is why it is more and more often perceived by everyone, because it becomes useful not only for the owner of the house, apartment, enterprise where water is supplied, but also for the water supply systems responsible for supplying water to the customer. Therefore, its additional advantages are used and already implemented by one of the Upper Silesian enterprises.
– We do not sell or manufacture water meters, but we connect to databases. We have the “Water meters” module in SmartFlow – informs Marta Zwolińska-Budniok from a software company from Gliwice.