THE mQ BLOG

With machineQ, H2O Degree Provides “Smart Metering at its Best”

A pioneer in the water utility IoT space, H2O Degree has a well-earned reputation for innovation. The company, which recently adopted machineQ as its IoT network, has used wireless technology to measure and track water and utility usage since its founding nearly 20 years ago, driving its standing as a “best in class” provider.

Water submetering was H2O Degree’s initial focus when the company launched in the late 1990’s. “A lot of multi-family buildings use one water meter per complex, so the landlord has to decide how to divide the bill among tenants,” said Don Millstein, President of H2O Degree. “If the billing is split evenly, some tenants are paying for water they don’t use and have no incentive to conserve.”

H2O Degree facilitates the alternative: submetering. Through wireless sensors, H2O Degree collects usage data by individual housing unit so each tenant is billed only on his/her actual use. The sensors connect to gateways, which transmit the collected data to H2O Degree’s cloud-based portal. Then, building managers, and/or RBC’s (companies that read utility meters, bill tenants, and collect) access the portal to view the data and generate bills that reflect each unit’s exact usage. In addition to billing information, H2O Degree has a host of submetering products for water leak detection down to the toilet & shower level. Daily and instantaneous leak detection reports and alarms are sent to management allowing them to take specific corrective action to eliminate one of the biggest waste and cost of water.

When utility costs rise, residents pay more, and the amount they pay does not vary with consumption. This diminishes property values and frustrates tenants. “Submetering is better for everyone,” says Millstein. “It is fairer for residents, increases property values, increases efficiency, and facilitates higher utility cost recovery for business owners.”

Selecting machineQ to power H2O Degree “gives us an opportunity to upgrade our wireless technology,” says Millstein. “machineQ provides a stronger signal and works over longer distances, and the open protocol enables us to integrate other products on the LoRa network into our solutions.”

H2O Degree is realizing savings from its relationship with machineQ on multiple levels. Thanks to the power of the machineQ IoT network, “We no longer have to use repeaters to send a signal through a building,” says Millstein. “This provides financial and engineering savings. Comcast’s backing of machineQ, along with the system’s advanced interoperability and technological resources, make machineQ a great fit. Plus, they’re compliance-ready and very focused on data protection, which is important to us.”

H2O Degree and LoRaWAN
H2O Degree and LoRaWAN

As H2O Degree continues to scale, machineQ’s national reach, broad collection of public networks, and sizeable stable of clients will be an asset, especially as the company looks to grow its commercial business. “Multi-family facilities are currently our core business, but our goal is to expand into the commercial market, and double or triple our business within the next five years,” says Millstein. “machineQ’s technology, and the potential for us to work with machineQ and its partners to develop a bundled solution, will help us reach our goal.”

The efficiencies inherent in machineQ’s technology will also help H2O Degree reach another goal: to promote and increase water conservation.

“We are trying to change two specific behaviors. We want to help tenants conserve, and give building management and maintenance teams the tools they need to proactively lessen or eliminate leaking water, wasted energy, and other inefficiencies,” said Millstein. “By making the data accessible, we believe we can change behaviors.”

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