How To Empower Customers With A Meter Reading App
Meter reading apps are transforming the way people think about their energy and water consumption. The ability to track utility usage with ease helps homeowners reduce waste consumption, and budget accordingly. Despite this, many utility providers still don’t provide a meter reading app for their customers.
Mobile scanning is the perfect technology for meter reading. It eliminates typing mistakes from readings and it’s much faster than writing or typing. You just need to point your device camera at your utility meter to create the perfect scan. Once you’re happy with the scan result, you can upload your meter reading to your utility provider to update your account.
This simple change in meter reading can have a profound effect on customers. A mobile meter reading app turns utility consumption into an interactive process. This is far more engaging for customers than a routine reading once per year. And once utility companies engage and empower their customers, it becomes far simpler to tell them about the additional services and products they provide.
Anyline empowers utility customers in a number of ways. Below are 3 examples of how mobile scanning works for the benefit of customers and providers at the same time. Check them out now to see if mobile meter reading apps can benefit your company and customers!
Empower Customers By Letting Them Submit Readings From Home
Traditional meter reading processes involve a number of steps. Homeowners and businesses need to be notified in advance. A technician needs to travel to the meter location. A reading is taken, documented and submitted to the utility supplier by the technician. The homeowner or business then waits to hear if their utility usage exceeds, meets or undercuts their current payment plan.
Even when done correctly, this process can take weeks to complete. And if an error is committed at any stage, the whole process must be restarted. Some utility providers allow customers to submit their own handwritten readings but illegible handwriting or false submissions don’t make this process much more efficient.
The problem in either case is that too many resources, whether they be time, travel or proper documentation processes, are required to read less than 10 numbers from an analog device.
Mobile Meter Reading Apps – The Egalitarian Approach
A mobile meter reading app is one of the best ways to optimize the meter reading process. Mobile OCR from Anyline can read meters 20 times faster than a human and has more than a 99% scan accuracy in laboratory settings.
Meter reading apps can provide better results than manual readings and make it much more convenient for homeowners and businesses to get involved with meter reading. You don’t need specialist knowledge or prior training to perform a mobile meter reading. You also don’t need to have a technician or a representative of your utility provider present to verify your reading.
This egalitarian approach empowers customers like no other meter reading technology. But customers can only adopt this approach if a mobile meter reading app is provided by their utility provider. So why should utility providers care about empowering their customers?
By involving customers in the meter reading process, utility companies are creating more opportunities to have their customers connect with them. In turn, mobile scans provide utility providers with more data about their customers. With more engaged customers, and a better understanding of their habits, utility providers can offer personalised products and services with more confidence. And their newly invigorated customer base will be primed to try these products out as they have a simple way to measure the results themselves.
Use Meter Reading to Assist with Smart Meter Rollout
Smart meters are being rolled out all over Europe right now, and at great cost to utility providers.
Smart Meter Rollout – An EU Initiative
The EU aims to replace at least 80% of electricity meters with smart meters by 2020, wherever it is cost-effective to do so. According to a 2014 Commission report, this smart meter rollout will require €45 billion worth of investment and will see 200 million smart electricity meters and 45 million smart gas meters put in place.
The average cost of replacing an analog meter with a smart meter is between €200 and €250. The EU estimates that by the end of 2020, 72% of homes will have a smart electricity meter and 40% will have a smart gas meter.
These EU regulations put utility providers under a lot of pressure to spearhead meter switchovers in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, meter switchover isn’t as straightforward as delivering new meters to the necessary homes and locations.
Anyline Documents Everything
For the rollout of a smart meter to take place, the existing electricity meter must be read and documented. It’s crucial for customers and providers that the meter is accurately read before switchover begins so billing isn’t affected. The meter number and location of the meter must also be accurately documented for the same reasons. All of this data must then be stored until the new smart meter is installed.
Anyline provides a simple, fast and error-free way to document all of this information with mobile scanning. The same technology that a customer would use for routine meter reading is the perfect tool for managing meter switchover as well.
Customers can even get involved by verifying their meter information before and after switchover through mobile scanning. This simple method of verification lets customers feel confident that their meter switchover was successful. They also have the option to start measuring the performance of their smart meter and see the benefits of a switchover for themselves.
Let Businesses Use Mobile Scanning Instead of Smart Meters
The main motivator for utility providers to make the switch to smart meters in the EU are regulations set forth by the Smart Grids Task Force.
However, there are a number of customers that aren’t targeted in this scheme and are not required to make the switch by 2020. Utility companies can still empower these customers with smart technology by providing them with a mobile meter reading app.
While the transition for some businesses and homes to smart meters will take longer than others, a meter reading app can fill the smart technology gap in the meantime.
Bringing Smart Technology to the Analog World
One of the major benefits of smart meters over traditional analog meters is the data they provide to utility providers in order to streamline the delivery of electricity, gas, water, etc,. While analog meters are incapable of providing utility companies with this feedback, businesses and customers can bridge this gap with mobile scanning.
By allowing customers to provide them with regular feedback on their utility usage, providers can deliver a more personalized service that better matches the needs of these customers. While a meter reading app will never be able to match a smart meter in terms of the data it can deliver about customers, it’s still much more informative than reading analog meters on an annual basis.
The empowerment of customers exempt from smart meter rollout through the use of mobile meter reading means that no one gets left behind as utility providers adjust their services for the smart meter era.
Symvaro and Energy App Provider – Anyline’s Meter Reading Module in Action
A number of companies have already experienced success with mobile meter reading from Anyline. Both Symvaro and Energy App Provider have integrated Anyline in their customer-facing apps with positive outcomes.
How Symvaro Helps Customers Monitor Water Usage
Symvaro provides customers with modern technology, apps and software, that make everyday life easier. The company has found several ways to simplify water usage processes within the home.
In order to help customers realize the benefits of Symvaro, they decided to create a mobile app. They needed a practical solution for reading water meters that would let users record data, while reducing typing errors and time waste. Mobile OCR from Anyline was integrated into the app to achieve this goal. As a result, the WATERLOO app was created for home customer use.
Symvaro believes in the power of customer integration, professional simplicity and going mobile. Their product WATERLOO became a key tool for the management of water meter reading and meter exchange.
It can identify meters currently in use. It identifies old meters and helps with the installation of new digital meters in their place. It can also be used by staff and customers to perform meter readings at any time. It even contributes to the statistical analysis of water meter data.
By integrating Anyline, Symvaro eliminated typing mistakes and data loss from their processes. Now all of their valuable data gets automatically uploaded to the WATERLOO Management Center.
WATERLOO is simple to use and has been shown to save time and resources when it comes to water meter reading and exchange. Paperwork and manual data entry have been eliminated from Symvaro’s processes. This has greatly reduced the error rate in meter readings.
The benefits of Anyline can also be seamlessly integrated with multiple billing systems. This lets customers make more informed decisions about their water usage. It also gives utility companies of any size the chance to modernize their services and enter the digital age.
Anyline adds value to WATERLOO. It’s reliability and interactivity boosts the efficiency of the entire app. As a result, customers are more comfortable with engaging their home water processes.
How Anyline Helps Energy App Provider’s Users Get The Best Deal On Their Electricity Usage
Energy|app provider is part of con|energy ag, founded in 1996 in Germany. Since then con|energy ag has developed and expanded in various directions. Energy|app provider represents an integral part of con|energy ag.
Depending on a customer’s location, energy|app provider’s mobile app will give useful information, tips, and services concerning energy consumption to users. Besides these energy efficiency and energy saving tips, the app also serves customers with alerts regarding public transport in their local area and other local news.
Developed both for iOS and the Android platforms, the Smart Living apps can be used on smartphones, tablets, and in some cases, smart watches.
In addition to these tips and alerts, energy|app provider added mobile meter reading to their app’s functionality. Integrating this feature makes the tips they provide even more actionable for customers.
It was simple to add mobile scanning functionality to the existing app. The end result was a mobile meter reading app that provides energy consumption tips and the functionality to scan readings to see these tips in action. Bringing Anyline to the app also removed manual data entry from energy|app provider’s processes. Customers can get all the information they need without typing.
Anyline is a Gartner Cool Vendor
Gartner, the world wide research institute famous for creating the hype cycle model to predict the maturity of emerging technologies, named Anyline as a Cool Vendor for supply chain execution in 2018.
Gartner Cool Vendors exist across all major areas of technology innovation. Those that stand out, do so because they offer some disruptive capability or opportunity. Anyline has been listed as a Cool Vendor because of their mobile OCR technology. This technology is backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide the most accurate scan possible.
“This is a huge success for us. Gartner are one of the best known research institutes in the tech industry. Their work on the “Magic Quadrant” and the “Hype Cycle” have helped to guide companies for years. Growing enterprises around the world rely on the analysis and reports they provide to choose only the best service providers. To be recognized by them is to receive the gold standard of approval within our field.”
– Anyline CEO, Lukas Kinigadner.
Anyline was recognized by Gartner because our technology supports the digitization of all kinds of data. By removing typing and manual data entry from everyday processes, you can save time, money and resources while also improving your data quality.
Test Your Use Case with the Anyline OCR Scanner App
You can test Anyline’s mobile scanning technology for yourself with our demo App. The Anyline OCR Scanner is a free app available on the App Store and Google Play that will help you to assess your scanning use cases. It includes more than 10 scanning solutions, works offline and has a +99% scan accuracy!
Check it out now and discover the potential to streamline your processes and services with your smartphone!
Try it for Yourself – Start Your Free Anyline Demo Now
Anyline’s mobile scanning technology is available to integrate with your mobile app as a cross-platform SDK. Test out our fully supported solutions on Android, iOS and Windows devices today. Download our SDK and begin your 30-day free trial to see how mobile scanning can revolutionize your services and processes!
The SDK demo includes access to all of the following solutions:
- License plate scanning
- Passport MRZ scanning
- Utility meter scanning
- Serial number scanning
- Document scanning
- Driving license scanning
- And more!
Don’t see a solution for your scanning use case? Get in touch now to discuss your solution!
Add Utility Meter Reading to Your App Today!
Save time and money with mobile utility meter scanning from Anyline. You can improve your customer experience, enhance security and upgrade data capture quality all at the same time with mobile scanning. Our technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide you with a fast and accurate scanning solution.
You can download our free SDK and begin your 30-day trial today. Integrate it with your own app and test your utility meter scanning use case.
For more information and details on how to add mobile meter reading to your app on a permanent basis, get in touch with us. We’re happy to help!
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