An important process in the energy and housing industry is the recording of meter readings at the turn of the year by property management companies: In most cases, utilities send house administrators Excel lists that are printed out and filled out by caretakers. The manually documented meter readings are in turn typed into lists and sent back to the utility company by e-mail. This manual documentation with many media breaks often leads to great dissatisfaction among those involved: there is criticism of the complicated handling, many data errors, insufficient transparency and the necessary queries. In addition, meter readings usually only have to be recorded once a year, so that the largely manual process is not established and the question is again posed next year: “How did it work again? Despite the high effort involved, the property management companies do not report many meter readings at all, so that utilities have to estimate a high proportion of meter readings.
RheinEnergie AG is now breaking new ground – with Immo 31.12. from pixolus, consisting of a web portal for RheinEnergie and the property management companies involved, as well as an app (iOS, Android) with which meter readers (mostly caretakers) can read meters easily and efficiently via camera.
In the web portal, each property management company sees exactly the meters it is to read for the energy supplier. In addition, each property management company can add submeters whose meter readings they need for their own service charge settlement. The meter readings of the submeters are handled separately, RheinEnergie has no access to them. An employee of the property management determines once which caretaker is responsible for which building.
In the App Immo 31.12. each caretaker sees then excluding its meter reading orders – represented after district, road, house number as well as with indication of the number of meters per building. In the detailed building view, the relevant meters are listed individually, including device location information. The janitor can also change the device location information so that the meter is easy to find in the following year. On site, the integrated barcode scanner first identifies the meter, immediately afterwards the actual meter reading is automatically recorded by the smartphone camera. Immediately afterwards, the digitalised numerical value is checked for plausibility. Each reading is recorded as a document photo, supplemented by the date of completion. No Internet connection is required to scan the meter readings. As soon as a mobile phone connection is established, all readings are immediately synchronized with the web portal. In the Immo 31.12. app, the completed meter reading order is now hidden, so that the janitor can always see which meters he still has to read.
In addition to saving time and reducing errors, property managers benefit in particular from the current status overview in the web portal: How many meters have already been read and which meter reading orders were rejected by the janitor (e.g. due to illness or inaccessible meter room)? The property management employee can react to this and, for example, simply assign rejected orders to other caretakers. The property management can export the collected meter readings (including submeters) at any time. However, the meter readings of the general meters no longer need to be sent to RheinEnergie: RheinEnergie can export and process all readings of the general meters itself.
The first application of Immo 31.12. at the turn of the year 2019/2020 was successful; RheinEnergie is convinced of the digitalisation solution. “Everyone benefits: The customer and we save time and process costs, Immo 31.12. strengthens our customer loyalty”, says Rainer Pitzen, Account Manager housing industry. (SKr, MHa, OKa)