Electricity + Control

Property portfolio managers and tenants in both commercial and residential precincts across the country are facing punishing escalations in water and electricity tariffs on an annual basis. Consequently, making every cent count has never been more important, nor has the need to ensure that billing is accurate and that the collection of monies is efficient.

Smart metering system powers up customers

Invirotel, a specialist division of the Proudly Bidvest group’s Voltex, has put the professional management of utility provision and client control at the heart of its Invirotel Smart Metering Management System. This two-pronged focus delivers in multiple ways: efficiency targets are met, carbon footprints are more effectively reduced, muscular usage data guides the client in assessing future capex layout and, critically, business stability is not undermined by inaccurate bulk billing or by the difficulty of collecting monies from tenants and co-users.

Invirotel was established in 2011 to cater for the growing need in smart energy management solutions and to pursue innovations in the green technology sector. As a distributor of smart meters, its main target markets are municipalities, commercial property owners and managers of tenanted real estate. It is expertly skilled in software development and management solutions that create a transparent niche reporting and monitoring output so that customers have control over their electricity and water consumption.

What makes the system smart?

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) underpins this highly functional yet surprisingly simple and affordable energy metering solution. AMI is an integrated mix of smart meters, communication networks and data management systems that enables two-way communication between utilities and customers. The Invirotel electricity meters - which are either single or three phase – can operate in either pre- or post-paid modes and use existing power lines to communicate with the data concentrator unit (DCU) which is capable of reading the meters remotely. The water meters connect with Invirotel’s cloud-based software system directly using wide area radio frequency communication. The concentrator allows two-way access to all meters and can be connected with up to 400 metering endpoints.

A comprehensive turnkey offering

The Smart Metering Management System, which incorporates a Utility Account Administration System, is fully supported by dedicated technical teams who provide a range of end-to-end services. Water and electricity usage audits are carried out prior to the drawing up of installation plans and scheduling.  Software integration and customisation forms a crucial part of the process. A winning feature of this system is that it can work with smart meters which are already being deployed: Invirotel’s meter management software is compatible with the majority of smart metering brands allowing customers to make full use of existing assets. Certificates of Compliance (SANS 10142) are issued once the meters and all related infrastructure is in place. Ongoing assistance is provided to customers who want help with analysing power quality and improving their energy efficiency. The Utility Account Administration System verifies and validates bills produced by any South African municipality and utility company as well as bills received from private metering companies.  The verification and validation is carried out automatically using the data-rich tariff engine and real-time data received from the meters.

A system designed for your customer’s convenience

The entire system has been designed to appeal to customers on numerous levels, with 100% accurate billing data topping the list. Digital, tamper-proof meters preclude errors and fraud, and require zero maintenance. The two-way communication between the meters and the user interface allows for real-time sms and email notifications of faults and incidences of attempted fraud. As a result, outage detection and restoration of services is that much faster.  Additionally, the Invirotel online dashboard gives both property managers and tenants the option to zoom in on their consumption data so as to understand usage patterns. If tenants use private vending, they can monitor consumption, in addition to purchasing electricity vouchers, using the handy Voltex Mobile Prepaid App. Controlled and gradual cut-offs for non-payments are also made easier using this smart metering solution.

Vital tool for property managers

The management of and billing for energy and water consumption is a headache for many property managers. Invirotel really does make the whole process supremely easy and accurate. Imagine being able to manage an entire property portfolio centrally. The flexibility of Invirotel means that building assets can be metered in their entirety or in individual sections using either bulk or sub-metering. Keeping track of common area consumption has never been easier and leaks can be quickly detected. The big data harvested from the meters opens the way for managers to create revenue and energy/water balancing reporting as well as draw benchmark reports both intra and inter portfolio, for building categories, per number of users or per GLA. Reporting periods from as current as half-hourly can be selected while load-switching schedules can be defined for improved efficiency. The automated meter-linked billing process, which does away with billing disagreements between manager and tenant, is a further invaluable tool.

No contest

If your aim is to partner with your customers to manage their assets expertly and eco-consciously, then installing the Invirotel Smart Metering Management System should be a serious consideration. In a tough economy, profit growth gets tougher. Drastically improving electricity and water management will be a key focus for any property manager. By introducing a highly professional and reliable smart metering system to their portfolios, they can concentrate infrastructure funding where it is needed most, put an end to wasteful expenditure and see their bottom-line reflect healthy growth.

Enquiries: Modishane Sebona. Tel. +27 (0) 11 100 3070