Taiwan wastes a lot of manpower with its system of water, electricity and gas meter readers to record usage. Readers have to go from house to house and building to building recording numbers. The system not only has major privacy issues, but residents often aren't honest about their resource usage. Taoyuan is in the process of installing smart readers in new public housing.
This public housing complex in Taoyuan has over 400 units installed with smart water meters. The city plans to install smart meters in new public housing complexes in the future as well.
Lien Hung-hsiang, President of Social Housing Development Company: “We're using the same water meters as everywhere else, except ours have an extra transmission pin that transmits to the water company. The advantage of this is that we won't need water meter readers in the future.”
While traditional and smart meters may look the same on the outside, smart meters can transmit data back to the water company. This negates the need for manual meter reading and also has potential for added-value services in the future. In addition, leaks can be discovered more quickly and there should be less water resource waste.
Liu Bo-hung, Section Chief, Taoyuan City Office of Housing Development: “In the future, we will hold discussions with Taiwan Water on data collection. This would allow residents to know how much water they are using every day. They will also be able to check their water usage against their water bill every month.”
Kuo Wen-bin, Second District Management Branch, Taiwan Water Co.: “This will negate the need for water meter readers and allow residents to monitor their water usage levels. It will also allow residents to become aware of leaks or abnormal water usage immediately.”
The city government says the manual water, electricity, and gas meter reading system is a waste of resources. In addition, the system has major privacy issues and residents often aren't honest about usage with a reporting discrepancy rate of 30 percent. Taoyuan hopes smart meters can solve all these problems.