Banner_Billing-Services

UtilityHawk Technology:  A Technical Explanation

What Is UtilityHawk?

UtilityHawk is a software application that incorporates statistical data analysis, algorithms, and mathematical modeling techniques to uncover patterns and relationships hidden in utility consumption data. UtilityHawk is used as a part of:

  1. AmCoBi's Utility Billing Service: To ensure that consumption data used for billing is accurate
  2. AmCoBi's Leak Detection Monitoring: To notify management and maintenance staff when potential water leaks or maintenance issues are discovered.

By detecting patterns and determining what they mean, AmCoBi helps organizations minimize the loss of precious resources, prevent property damage, and save money.

Why Is UtilityHawk Unique?

Many organizations and companies that provide water to communities and bill residents generate huge volumes of data.  The challenge has always been analyzing this data to improve conservation efforts, detect maintenance problems, and ensure billing accuracy.  While data mining software is used extensively in other industries--engineering, healthcare, finance--these tools have rarely been applied to utility billing and water provisioning.

Utility billing applications have very limited statistical data analysis capabilities and metering software is focused on recording meter readings.  Moreover, not only do you need the right software tools, there's a substantial amount of expertise required to run these applications. 

The AmCoBi engineering team has extensive experience managing complex engineering systems used by other industries.  We are applying this know-how to improve the accuracy of utility bills before they are delivered to recipients and to find water leaks.

UtilityHawk At Work

As an example, review the following data table. It shows 36 months of water consumption data for a 355 unit complex. It has been cropped but it is a large spreadsheet that contains a mountain of data.  It's not only difficult to view, interpreting the data is a real challenge.  Even if you proceed line by line, which points of data are concerning? The 28s, the 19s, or the 0s?

Water Submeter Consumption Data

 

By plotting the data in a graphical format, the picture starts to take shape.  You can visually see the amount of water consumed at each residence for the three year period.

UtilityHawk_Total_Consumption

 

While this graph is an improvement over the data table, it's still confusing to identify problems, even for an experienced analyst.

Take a look at the graph below. Because most of the consumption data passes the first set of UtilityHawk tests, we can remove those elements from the graph. The "passed" data don't warrant further review by an analyst and can be billed. But we can go even further.

Graph2 - Water Submeter Data

 

The graph below shows the four properties that didn't pass the UtilityHawk tests. Data from these residences must be reviewed either because they indicate losses, maintenance problems, or inaccurate meter reads.

Immediate Notification

AmCoBi runs UtilityHawk on a daily basis for numerous submetered multifamily complexes throughout the U.S.  When a problem is detected, AmCoBi notifies property managers, maintenance staff, or residents so that they can quickly address the situation.  Water leaks are an excellent example of a costly problem that can lead to structural damage if not fixed quickly.  AmCoBi has helped saved thousands of gallons of water and the associated expense by closely monitoring submetered water usage data.

Contact Us!

For more information on AmCoBi's UtilityHawk monitoring program and how it can help your community reduce water costs, give us a call.