Tallinna Vesi starting to install smart water meters for its customers

AS Tallinna Vesi will begin installing remotely readable smart meters this summer and is planning to replace the water meters for all customers in its service area with smart ones by 2026 at the latest, so that customers would no longer need to report water meter readings.

Smart water meters will be installed for all private persons and companies who have entered into a direct contract with Tallinna Vesi. According to Aleksandr Timofejev, Chief Executive Officer of Tallinna Vesi, by installing smart meters, the company is taking a big step towards digitising its processes and making monthly billing significantly more convenient for the customer. “We carried out a procurement which resulted in a contract with Telia for the delivery of smart water meters and the transmission of data via Telia’s network. We have a total of 23,900 contracted customers and the first customers will receive smart water meters as early as this summer.”

The international procurement for smart water meters ended early in May. Following the procurement, on 17 May 2022, a contract was awarded to the technology company Telia Eesti AS. The first new meters will be delivered and installed this summer. Smart water meters will be installed following company’s regular water meter verification program – this year, new meters will be installed for customers who had their water meters last verified 5 years ago. By year 2026, the entire service area will be covered with smart water meters.

Smart water meters are equipped with a SIM card that communicates with the network and transmits the customer’s consumption data. A smart water meter can independently collect the customer’s water consumption data by remote reading and automatically transmit it to the water company. This means that in the future, those customers of Tallinna Vesi who have a smart water meter installed, will no longer have to report their water meter reading.

In 2021, Tallinna Vesi conducted a pilot project, testing various smart water meters to identify the most reliable solution. “As a result of the pilot project last summer we selected the most modern NBIoT solution, which is low in energy consumption, operates on very large area and does not require the company to make separate investments in the construction of the network. The pilot project tested the NBIoT solution using 25

0 water meters that were installed in different locations across Tallinn,” Timofejev explained.

The network service is provided by Telia Eesti AS. Holger Haljand, Head of Telia’s Business Client Unit, said that the automated transmission of water meter readings is an important step forward for both user experience and data accuracy. “The field of IoT in Estonia is fast developing and over the last few years we have seen new and new possibilities for remote data reading entering the market. Today, tens of thousands of devices are connected to the Telia’s IoT network and remote data reading possibilities are used in a number of various areas, such as measuring gas, electricity and district heating consumption and processing that data,” said Haljand.

“The main advantage of smart meters is the speed and accuracy of data transmission, as well as security and reliability. In addition to consumption data, the smart meter also communicates information about any failures and water misuse,” explained Haljand. This allows the water company to monitor its water network more efficiently and detect water leaks on its own pipelines, as well as on customers’ pipes, which in turn helps to save clean water and resources spent treating water.

There are also other utility companies in Estonia who use meters working on the NBIoT solution and for example water companies such as Haapsalu Veevärk and Pärnu Vesi have started installing this type of water meters since last year.

Important information for the customers of Tallinna Vesi regarding the installation of smart water meters:

  • Smart water meters will be installed following the Company’s regular water meter verification program – this year, the new meters will be installed for customers who had their water meters last verified 5 years ago.
  • Smart water meters are installed for all private persons and companies who have entered into a direct contract with Tallinna Vesi.
  • In the case of apartment buildings, direct contract is signed between Tallinna Vesi and an apartment association, and the smart meter will be installed to replace the main water meter.
  • The maintenance, installation and inspection of additional water meters used in apartments is arranged by the apartment association. Many modern apartment buildings already have smart meters in place. Residents of older apartment buildings can check with their apartment association on whether their association is planning to switch to smart meters.
  • Customers do not have to do anything themselves to have the water meter replaced – Tallinna Vesi will let the customer know when 5 years have passed since the last verification of their water meter and agree on a time for replacing the meter.
  • Replacing the water meter is free of charge for customers.
  • In the future, customers using smart water meters will be able to monitor their water consumption themselves using the meter.

AS Tallinna Vesi is the largest water utility in Estonia, providing services to more than 23,900 private customers and businesses and 470,000 end consumers in Tallinn and its surrounding areas: City of Maardu, City of Saue and Harku Municipality. Tallinna Vesi is listed on the main list of the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange. The largest shareholding in the Company is owned by the City of Tallinn (55.06%) and the energy group Utilitas (20.36%). 24.58% of the Company’s shares are free floating on the Nasdaq Baltic Market.