a bill and a calculator

How to create accurate customer invoicing with self meter reading

Ebin Thomas

Account Executive at Anyline

Dec 20, 2022

There is nothing that gets utility customers more enraged than getting incorrect invoicing. For the utility industry, which is famously a very competitive market, this means risking turnover with every issued customer bill. 

In this blog, we look at meter reading technology that every utility company should consider by talking about the following topics: 

  1. Aspects customers consider when choosing their utility provider
  2. Why switching your energy provider is easier than ever
  3. Killing customer satisfaction
  4. How OCR technology can help
  5. How to integrate a self-meter reading solution

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Aspects customers consider when choosing their utility provider

How you choose your energy provider differs from customer to customer. That said, there are a few important aspects we all share when considering an energy provider – and these are becoming more important than ever before thanks to rapidly changing economic and industry conditions.

These include:

  • Decarbonization: One of the most important and growing aspects customers look for when choosing their utility provider is whether they are offering clean electric energy solutions. Reducing their carbon footprint is especially important for the growing younger generation. This is so important, in fact, that this generation is actually willing to pay more for the energy if they know it came from clean and sustainable sources. 
  • Customer service: Simply put, the number one keyword for consideration is customer satisfaction. In order to be able to offer great customer service, customers want more insights from their utility provider, more ways to manage their account, and a more proactive and timely approach to personalized communications  Sending a bill once a year isn’t good enough anymore is a reason alone for turnover.
  • Increased energy usage: Almost every single customer is affected by increased energy usage, which is unfortunate considering the active energy crisis in Europe. The reasons for this increase in energy consumption are of course dependent on the household, but the rise in energy-consuming devices tops our list. Similarly, the increased number of workers actively working from home rather than in their offices has certainly affected daily energy usage for customers across the globe. 
  • Price: Considering the increased energy usage as well as the European energy crisis and record inflation numbers, energy prices are skyrocketing. As a result, customers are desperate for real-time usage information that could help them conserve energy during specific times of the day. 

Killing customer satisfaction

As mentioned above, pricing is one of the biggest consideration points for customers who are choosing their utility supplier. And as much as one may manually track or consciously conserve their energy usage throughout the year, it is not uncommon that an energy invoice would still come with an expected amount. What can cause this to happen – and why does it happen so often?

  • Problems with your utility meter: There are a couple of issues that could occur with your energy meter, whether it’s installation errors or communication failures. Since meter installations rarely get verified or checked again after the initial installation, it is not uncommon for these processes to be done incorrectly. 
  • Inaccurate rates: It’s no easy task to decipher your utility bill and all of the rates charged, but it’s not impossible either. There are for example rates that change depending on the season or time of day or peak demand rates, where you are billed an extra amount for your highest spike in usage over the month.
  • Meter reading problems: This occurs when the utility worker has made a mistake while reading the meters and the customer then has to pay the price for it. 

While these are just a few of the most common issues that cause a decline in customer satisfaction, the end result is customer turnover that can be avoided by simply providing real-time and more engaging customer solutions or options. 

How to integrate a self-meter reading solution

Even the integration is made easy since Anyline’s mobile meter reading technology can be integrated directly into any utility company’s existing website or mobile app thanks to its SDK (Software Development Kit). Providing mobile meter readings via a mobile application or website allows customers and employees to use their personal smart devices. By integrating Anyline’s OCR technology utility companies can not only guarantee correct invoicing and save resources, but they can also ensure easy use for their utility workers and customers as they are already familiar with their own smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, it g

Anyline’s SDK, which guarantees a fast and secure transmission of meter reading data, is backed up by hands-on support from customer service and works with android and iOS smartphones and offers support for common integration frameworks including Xamarin, React Native and Cordova.

You can find out if mobile meter reading is the right solution for you by downloading our Energy & Water Demo App to test its capabilities.

If you want to find out more about a couple of companies that have already implemented Anyline technology into their apps and websites, read more about our use cases. 

Used cases:

  • Northumbrian Water: The UK based water company provides parts of North East of England and South East of England with water and sewerage services. In order to upgrade their customer experience, they have decided to integrate Anyline’s mobile meter reading technology into its customer application. 
  • Innogy: Innogy is the main supplier of natural gas, electricity, and heating services in the Czech Republic for both commercial and residential customers and has a special focus on long-term energy sustainability and clean mobility. They have decided to use Anyline’s technology in order to provide top-notch energy services with customer-facing digital solutions and products.
  • Co.met:  Another company is co.met, which is a leading meter reading provider in Saarbrücken, Germany. In order to think ahead of time and provide innovations that allow them to offer smart and future-proof meter reading solutions to its customers, they chose to integrate Anyline’s mobile meter reading technology.

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