Digital metering trial

Trial has now ended

Please note: The trial come to an end on 30 April 2021. The following page is for project reference only.

Since 2018 we ran a digital metering trial with selected households in Richmond and Docklands.

The purpose was to determine whether digital meters can increase water savings for our customers and us through:

  • timely leak detection and alerts
  • access to near real-time water usage data.

Gathering this information is becoming vital to managing our most precious resource as:

  • Melbourne's population is set to double within 50 years
  • climate projections indicate less rainfall in our region.

We are now assessing the trial learnings as we explore:

  • the role of digital meter technology in our future service offerings
  • the future of water management.

Digital metering joint program

Despite our trial ending, we continue to work with South East Water and Yarra Valley Water on a digital metering joint program, determining how and when to roll out digital meters based on customer benefits.

FAQs: Digital Metering Trial

What happens after the trial?

We’re currently reviewing the trial results. The results will be a key input into our assessment of which metering technology we utilise in future. We will share updates about our future progress with digital metering on this page. 

As part of the trial’s closure, we need to discontinue all services that were offered exclusively during the trial. 

From 1 May 2021, we will stop: 

  • sending trial customers leak notification alerts via SMS 
  • close our water usage portal TappedIn. 

What will happen to my digital meter?

We need to remove any hardware that was installed at your property as part of the trial. Our metering contractor-, Mondo, will carry out the following work on behalf of Greater Western Water from 1 May 2021: 

  • If you had a digital meter installed at your property, Mondo will replace it with an analogue meter. This will disrupt your water supply for no more than 15 minutes. 
  • If you had a digital device plugged into your existing meter as part of the trial, Mondo will remove this device with no disruption to your water supply. 
  • Please note there is no cost to customers for this work and we will send notification advising you of our visit to your property in advance.

Why did the trial run in my area?

We’re working with the other metropolitan Melbourne water retailers to test the meters in different areas of the city, such as:

  • older areas 
  • densely populated areas.

Each trial area has been identified following careful consideration.

How did you secure my personal information during the trial?

We take your privacy seriously. We manage customer information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. No personal information is stored on digital metering devices.

FAQs: Digital meters

What are digital water meters?

Digital water meters are like standard water meters, but they have the potential to provide real-time information about your water usage.

The device can help identify leaks within a property and in our water network, so that they can be fixed quickly. It can also help you make informed choices about your water consumption.

How can digital water meters benefit me?

Because digital meters can collect and relay information in real-time, they have the potential to provide more timely information about:

  • water usage (how much water you’re using)
  • potential leaks through alerts, so that they can be fixed quickly, saving water and money.

Are these meters a risk to my health?

The meters transmit radio waves (well inside government safety standards). It’s similar to a mobile phone using data for about 30 seconds a day.

Where are digital water meters already used?

Digital water meters are already being trialled across Melbourne. Benefits, such as early leak detection, are already being realised in areas which have installed them.

There have been several successful rollouts in Asia, Europe and North America over the past five years. These examples are just the first of a larger global movement towards a smarter and more reliable future for water.

What do digital water meters look like?

We trialled a range of digital water meter devices to determine the most suitable technology for customers’ and our needs. As part of the comprehensive trial, customers received either:

  • a digital meter (which is about the same size as existing water meters)
  • or a digital plug-in device that goes into the existing water meter.

How are digital meters powered?

The digital devices are battery operated. Batteries and meter are maintained by us.

How do digital water meters transmit data?

Digital water meters communicate information through low level radiofrequency (RF) waves. A form of electromagnetic energy present all around us from natural and man-made sources. Our trial technologies are well within the Australian Safety Standards. They are likely to produce even less than a twentieth of the RF measured by a mobile phone. 

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