A domestic meter replacement strategy was required for a Regional Council in Australia. The strategy was to be based on meter accuracies which should ultimately culminate into a financial assessment of an optimum payback period. An initial desktop assessment was conducted on domestic meter replacement strategies that have been reported by utilities and researchers in Australia and internationally and laboratory testing of the accuracy of the domestic meters was to be planned over a secondary project phase.
This paper reports on the findings of the theoretical benchmark phase. The project team considered that the optimum replacement strategy be based on the interfacing the cumulative volumes distribution within Council’s database with equivalent extrapolated ages. The benchmarked age related meter accuracies were corresponded with the cumulative volume categories.
An optimum cumulative volume for Council was found at the maximum weighted error which corresponded with a cumulative volume of 3.9 ML. A financial assessment confirmed the payback period to be within one year, based on meter replacement costs and net present value of cash flows.
A practical replacement strategy for Council was mapped using GIS technology wherein meters that were characterised by high cumulative volumes and high average consumption inherited the highest priority.