The UK’s cost of living crisis is showing no signs of slowing down. Since October last year the average household’s energy bill has risen by 27%. It’s not just a household’s electricity and gas consumption that contributes to their energy bill. Water use also contributes. In fact, carbon neutral water supplier, Everflow, estimates that around six percent of the average household’s energy bill is attributable to water.1
Water bills are also set to rise in 2023 – with the average bill increasing 7.5% from April. For household’s looking at ways to save money, smart water meters offer a solution. Smart metering eliminates the hassle of manually sharing readings with water suppliers and potentially reduces errors when taking meter reads, helps detect leaks faster and allows for much closer consumption monitoring. That’s why it’s important to accelerate the deployment of smart water meters across the country.
About smart water meters
Smart water meters are water meters that can be read remotely without having to directly access the meter installation for a manual reading. They can use Automated Meter Readings (AMRs), where the meter can be read on a walk past or a drive by. The alternative is Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), where the meter’s data can be read remotely through a fixed or mobile communications network.
AMI meters offer the greatest potential for demand savings due to the availability of high resolution, visible usage data. Because they automatically measure water usage, the user can view their water consumption via an online interface. This allows them to see how their water usage varies over time. If water consumption is increasing, individuals can take action to resolve this – whether that’s by detecting and fixing leaks or changing their consumption habits. Water’s Worth Saving have some great tips and advice for consumers wanting to reduce their water usage. Check out ways to reduce water consumption.
The good news is, according to research published by WaterWise the vast majority (87%) of unmetered survey respondents said they would investigate getting a smart water meter if they knew it would save them money and be free to install.
Rolling out a million smart water meters a year could save one billion liters of water every day within a 15 year time period. That will cut the UK’s emissions by 0.5% and potentially save customers thousands of pounds.2 There’s also the added benefit that AMIs can provide suppliers with direct access to regular and accurate customer consumption data – without which it’s difficult to benchmark national progress or devise effective intervention strategies.
At present, AMI deployment in the water industry is lacking a cohesive strategy. WaterWise offers some very sound advice and recommendations for water companies wanting to increase their rollout. It includes:
Engage with customers – When rolling out meters, it will be important to engage with residents about underlying factors such as water behaviors and normative usage practices that shape their water demand.
Segment target audiences and tailor messages – When communicating with the public about smart water metering, segmenting audiences according to what they might view as the biggest benefit or the strongest motivator for uptake, and tailoring messages will be more effective than a generalized ‘broadcast’ style communication.
Increase awareness and address misconceptions – Providing households with information about smart water metering and being clear about actions to take to get a smart water meter can help to increase awareness and address misconceptions about the device. If successful, increased public awareness could lead to people ‘buying-in’ to the objective of taking up a smart water meter to save water or at the very least, gain individual benefits. This can be beneficial for a mandatory rollout program.
Provide relevant facts and figures – Having access to facts, figures and tools that are specific and relevant to residents can also support their decision making. These can include case studies from comparable households or the use of the CCW calculator, as well as the use of trial periods that enable households to test the impact of a smart meter on a shadow bill.
Let us help your smart meter rollout
For the last six years, we have been working with water companies across the globe, proving that our behavioral science based customer engagement programs can achieve water use efficiency targets. In fact our SaaS platform is currently serving one million people across the world.
Let us help you to prove the business case for increasing the roll-out of your smart meter program.
Advizzo specialises in processing smart meter data and harnessing the power of behavioral science to create unique customer engagement solutions. Our customer engagement programs are proven to help water customers to better understand their usage and motivate them to make changes to reduce consumption.
Our customer facing software uses Behavioral Science to understand and trigger customer engagement by delivering personalized home efficiency reports and coaching direct to customers. The reports are designed to trigger behavioral changes to reduce consumption and maximize water savings. This approach is proven to achieve up to an 11% reduction in water usage, as achieved in Yarra Valley Water’s water saving customer engagement project.
How will you encourage your customers to save water and money with a smart meter? We’d love to help you. Get in touch to find out more!