14.01.2020 - Article
  • Heating
  • Saving energy
  • Products

Reading heat meters and determining consumption: This can also be done digitally

In the home, walk-by, or remotely: these are the three ways of reading heat meters – depending on the technical equipment in the building. One of them is particularly efficient and CO2-saving: digital remote readout. It is being used more and more.

People who use a lot pay a lot. And people who use less heating and hot water are rewarded at the latest when they get their annual heating cost bill. To ensure that the landlord only charges each household for what they have actually used, he contracts a service provider – for example ista. But how does the service provider guarantee that the correct consumption figures are transmitted?

1. Checking the technical requirements

Metering and cost allocation devices are installed so that ista or the landlord can later invoice heating and hot water consumption. Exactly what these are depends on the requirements of the property owners and property managers, but also on the technical requirements. That is why an ista employee takes a thorough look at the rooms, measuring points and heating systems before making an offer.

2. Installing metering and cost allocation devices

Once the order has been placed, the service technician installs the metering equipment. ista devices are developed and thoroughly tested in Germany. This ensures that they meet statutory requirements and high quality standards.

3. Reading consumption data

How does ista get the data on hot water and heating energy consumption?

  • First of all, there is the traditional way: an employee comes by and reads the meter to get the consumption data. To do this, he has to arrange an appointment with the tenant in advance, which makes the method quite complicated.
  • A more convenient way is when the meter reader no longer has to enter the apartment and the data can be read as the meter reader passes by – walk-by readout.  With this method, the technician still has to drive to the building and often has to gain access to the stairwell in order to read the data by radio signal. However, he no longer has to make appointments with every tenant.
  • However, the future is digital remote readout: The gateway transmits the consumption information automatically and securely via the mobile network to the ista server.
     And one more thing: The amended EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) will make remote readout mandatory anyway, at least for new devices. Then it will also be possible to inform tenants of their individual consumption several times a year - as the Directive requires.

4. Issuing the bill

The property manager transmits all tenant and cost data digitally to ista  - for example via web portal; the service provider then calculates the individual costs and prepares the consumption bill. He then sends the bill for the entire apartment building and the individual bills for each household to the landlord or the property manager. The landlord or property manager then gives each tenant their bill, usually including the ancillary cost bill. It could become even easier in future if the sending of bills between ista, the landlord and tenants is all done digitally. This will save a lot of paper.

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