In its Second National Infrastructure Assessment the National Infrastructure Commission has recommended that Defra enables water companies to implement compulsory metering beyond water stressed areas by 2025, along with support for a systematic roll out of smart meters. We take a look at the Assessment’s recommendation and share how we can help water companies to increase their smart water meter rollout across the country.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s National Infrastructure Assessment is a five yearly review that sets out a programme of transformation for the UK’s water, energy and other key networks over the next 30 years. Recommendation 34 in the most recent Assessment is focused on the country’s water infrastructure. It recommends that the government and Ofwat should ensure plans are in place to deliver additional supply and demand reduction of at least 4,000 mega litres per day. It suggests a twin track approach that should include:

  • The Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development and Price Review process to ensure that at least 1,300 mega litres per day is provided by the mid 2030s through (a) additional strategic water transfers and (b) additional supply infrastructure.
  • The water industry maintains its objective to halve leakage from 2017-18 levels by 2050, with Ofwat agreeing five year commitments for each company (as part of the regulatory cycle) and reporting on progress.
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs enables companies to implement compulsory metering beyond stressed areas by 2025, by amending regulations as appropriate and requiring all companies to systematically rollout smart meters as a first step in a concerted effort to reduce water demand to 110 litres per person per day, and to reduce non-household usage by 15 per cent by 2050.

How we can help water companies increase their smart meter rollout

We can engage with water company’s customers and demonstrate the value of smart meters by processing a combination of meter and customer data, as well as open source data, to deliver behavioural science based personalised insights and actions, designed to motivate customers to install a smart meter.  

We empower utilities to better understand their customers using the following complementary approaches: 

  • Thanks to our analytics tools we can use customer usage and household data and relevant 3rd party data to measure and verify consumption reduction over time.
  • We develop bespoke widgets and surveys that enable us to understand the context and behaviours of each customer, for example household size, engagement level, property characteristics etc.
  • Our team of data scientists and behavioural experts leverage empirical research and the very latest global insights to help design the most promising customer engagement experience.

Here’s how we ensure results from our customer engagement programmes

  • The customer experience is smooth and adapted to the customer’s preferred communication channels. Our widgets fit into a water supplier’s existing communications channels e.g. the web, apps, call centres, paper, voice etc. and personalised nudges can be delivered to any channel.
  • Techniques we deploy include information/data transparency, leveraging behavioural UX design (e.g. defaults, ease, salience) and behavioural science frameworks (social norms, incentives, rewards).
  • The data and insights we surface and deliver to customers help drive trust and empower customers to take action. 
  • Our Event Detection engine allows the detection of leaks or unusual water consumption (for example high consumption) both from Meter Leak Alarms as well as from Smart Meter consumption data.
  • To drive adoption, we design simple yet powerful nudges and messages using our communication engine to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time via the right channel for maximum effectiveness.

We have already partnered with many of the UK’s water suppliers including Anglian Water, Southern Water, Severn Trent, South East Water, Yorkshire Water, and Northumbrian Water to help rollout smart meters and to also help customers understand their usage, reduce consumption and detect leaks. You can read more about our projects on our case studies pages.

Did you know that our sister company is Lowri Beck? Lowri Beck installs metering equipment and provides meter reading and associated tailored services for all types of metering service including smart metering systems across gas, electricity and water markets globally. Why not talk to Lowri Beck about meter installation and reading services, and talk to us about capturing the meter data and using it to engage customers in order to increase your smart water meter rollout? We’d love to hear from you!