In Paris the French metering service provider Multimat Compteurs has for the first time equipped one of its buildings with AMR consumption meters. The technology needed for the job was provided by noventic subsidiary QUNDIS. The client Multimat Compteurs now wants to install this technology in further buildings. Because it helps the company to simplify and accelerate its processes, and because it helps tenants to avoid inconvenient meter reading appointments.
The view from the building, particular from the upper of the nine floors, is magnificent. The residential building is located in the 20th arrondissement in eastern Paris, just a few minutes walk from the famous Belleville quarter. Once an immigrant quarter, it has evolved into a lively neighbourhood which attracts young artists and their families. Today it is a popular and trendy district full of cafés, art galleries, bars and clubs.
Change and innovation are nothing new in Belleville, then, and the same applies to the residents of the condominiums in Rue du Télégraphe and to the company which measures their energy consumption. This is Multimat Compteurs, a metering services provider founded in the 1950s, which has its headquarters in Paris, with branch offices in Lyon and Lille. Multimat is run by Stephan and Florent Giacomoni, the sons of the founder Francis Giacomoni. For many years the company’s main business was reading water meters, but today they have diversified into metering heating with pinpoint accuracy. The obligation to provide tenants with all-year-round information on their consumption, for which the German housing industry is currently preparing, also applies in France since it is a matter of European law. However, to date French real estate operators have been fairly slow to install the necessary metering instruments and infrastructure.
er ziemlich zurückhaltend bei der Installation der dafür notwendigen Messinstrumente und Infrastruktur.
Remote digital meter reading and process optimisation thanks to AMR
Thanks to the AMR technology developed and manufactured by QUNDIS, Multimat can offer its customers the opportunity to measure and bill the consumption of each apartment without anyone having to personally visit each apartment in order to read the meters. This advance is based Automatic Meter Reading (AMR), a remote meter reading method. The heart of the system is formed by network nodes installed in the stairwell, which receive the consumption data from the meters every four hours. Due to the thick walls and concrete floors, the reception range can often be limited, so the metering networks in larger properties involve the installation of several network nodes. At least one of these nodes is in direct communication with the gateway. This device then establishes an Internet connection with the metering service via mobile telephony or Ethernet and transmits the meter readings. Multimat was also able to improve its internal processes thanks to AMR technology. This is because the company’s headquarters are in the south of Paris, which meant that its personnel had to cross the city to get to and from the building in order to read consumption data by conventional means. Thanks to AMR technology all that effort can be dispensed with, meaning the service is significantly more efficient and therefore cheaper for the customers.
Connection point for further applications
Multimat was one of the earlier players in this field on French market when it awarded the contract at the start of 2016 to equip the 1970s residential building in the 20th arrondissement with modern AMR consumption meters. A total of 200 digital consumption meters were installed. These transmit the recorded consumption figures to Multimat via the network nodes Q node 5 and the Q SMP Gateway. “Our plan has worked out well: over the two years plus since the installation of the digital devices the data transmission has been 100 per cent successful”, explains Patrick Llorca, the QUNDIS project manager. Llorca also mentions the many further applications open to the tenants, housing associations and metering services provider through the high-frequency transmission of water consumption data. One example is the use of algorithms to permit the early detection of leaks before they cause any discernible water damage, a service offered by the affiliate KeepFocus of Denmark.
For QUNDIS this was a first, albeit only in France. On the company’s domestic market in Germany they had already accumulated a good deal of experience in the field of digital consumption recording. Encouraged by their positive experience on Rue du Télégraphe, Multimat intends in future to equip more and more buildings with QUNDIS technology. Thus the innovative energy of the exuberant 20th arrondissement can soon be expected to spread to other districts and cities.