Some excellent news! We secured funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to develop a consumer engagement platform that works with utilities on two different project areas: to reduce consumer debt and decrease sewer blockages.
Consumer debt and pipe blockages are two of the biggest efficiency problems the utility industry faces. Despite marketing efforts, consumers remain unaware of what not to flush down the toilet or put down the sink: unbiodegradable items such as wet wipes, oil, fats and greases
Utilities can find it difficult to make behavioural changes and prevent pipe blockages. As a result, the water companies in the UK spend £100 million p.a. to clear over 300,000 pipe blockages.
Not only are blockages a fundamental issue, the level of bad debt recorded by UK water companies increased by 17% (from £1.9bn to £2.2bn) between 2010 and 2014. The demands of maintaining a clean, safe water supply and sewer system have led to household bills rising above inflation for a number of years.
With this funding from Innovate UK, Advizzo is developing a proof of concept, using an entirely software-based approach, that uses utility data alongside third party data. These are then fed into an algorithm, to produce tailored insights for consumer households, using specific behavioural science methods.
Consumers will only receive relevant information to their household, alleviating the frustration of generic mass mailers, and instead, motivating them to change their behaviours for the benefit of their personal finances, as well as preserving the environment.
Working with supporting water utility partners in the UK, we will have access to household data to evaluate the two project areas: consumer debt and pipe blockages.
We were honoured to receive this funding and responsibility from Innovate UK. Current debt recovery and sewer blockages prevention strategies are can be dramatically improved. We want to change some of the outdated procedures and create a ‘new normal’ for consumer engagement in the utility sector around the world.