Case Study Digitising operations and driving water savings

The Challenge

Melbourne’s population is set to double by 2050. At the same time, scientists are predicting more extreme droughts for Australia in the not too distant future. In combination, these two significant challenges mean Melbourne is facing an impending water crisis.

In recognition that the city’s population must change their water consumption habits to help manage water even more sustainably, Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne’s largest water utility, will be upgrading the city’s water meters to digital water meters.

Yarra Valley Water serves over 2 million customers in Melbourne. Recognizing that digital water meters unlock larger amounts of data and provide opportunities to better manage water resources, Yarra Valley Water selected Advizzo to help prove the case for Digital Metering in their customer trials. The water supplier also wanted to create a personalized customer experience  to optimize the use of digital tools to help customers, track their water usage and take relevant actions to not only save water, but to save money and associated carbon emissions.

“Changes today will help secure water supplies for current and future generations of Victorians.
We valued the opportunity to work with Advizzo in our customer trials to learn about the customer engagement and behavioural change interventions that we may adopt in the future when rolling our digital water meters”
Ash Walsh, Digital Metering Strategy & Roll Out Lead, Yarra Valley Water

Impact and Results:

  • Reduced water use:
    • 6% Year on Year measured water decrease last summer
    • Up to 11% savings for the most engaged customers
  • Digitised business operations:
    • Online portal integrated into YVW online portal
    • +15% Customer sign-ups to online account
  • Sustained customer engagement:
    • > 15,000 personalized paper reports and emails delivered
    • 70% of engaged customers repeated online visits
    • 50% of engaged customers shared supplementary data for further insights through the online portal survey

Solution overview

Advizzo’s SaaS platform creates a personalised experience for each customer -helping them to make the most of digital tools, track their water usage and take relevant actions to save water.

Advizzo’s widgets and APIs were used to create a new personalized online experience for Yara Valley Water customers

Insights relating to an individual customer’s water usage and habits were presented online and via paper reports:

Illustration of personalised insights and tailored action plan


  • Customers and users: A new portal packed with insights and personalized tips was created. Advizzo leveraged Data & Behavioural Science principles to encourage customers to form new habits that would help them save water. These were available on the portal and also sent via monthly reports delivered by letter or email. This helped drive customer engagement, awareness, and motivation to act.
  • Water savings: Based on Randomised Control Trials completed on similar projects,  Advizzo anticipated annual water savings of up to 3%. However, Yarra Valley Water customers reduced their water usage by 6% (from summer ‘20 to summer ’21) and by up to 11% for a small sample of highly engaged customers.

Between November 2021 and the end of January 2022, water consumption fell by more than 20 litres per day per customer. Although this was not a fully representative sample of Yarra Valley Water’s portfolio or the Melbourne population, this is a good indicator of what can be achieved when engaging specific customer groups.

  • More engage customers: We ran customer surveys to measure the impact of our engagement solutions on the customer experience. Most users found the new interface and insights and advice on how to save water both interesting and helpful. 70% of engaged customers repeated online visits and 50% shared new data.
  • Managers: Advizzo’s dynamic analytics engine enabled managers at Yarra Valley Water to track usage against customer engagement activity over time. This helped measure Key Performance Indicators such as the end-to-end customer engagement funnel and usage change over time.
  • Field and call agents: To help improve call outcomes a portal relating to customer accounts was made available to call agents. Using the agent interface, any agent could immediately assess a property’s water usage and efficiency and suggest solutions to reduce consumption.

“A Digital Meter is like a Fitbit for your home. It does not make you fitter on its own, but data can help you take and maintain healthier behaviours.
Advizzo solutions shape data into empowering insights for all to adopt more sustainable behaviours”

Clement Lapeyre, Head of User Experience, Advizzo

Adapting to Water Scarcity & Delivering Net Zero

Experts across the globe agree that Behavior Change and ongoing customer engagement is  going to be critical to the success in winning the race to Net Zero.

The positive results from this project with Yarra Valley Water helps show that Advizzo’s behavioural and data science based customer engagement solution provides a pathway to help Australian households save water and live more sustainably.

On average, Yarra Valley Water’s customers saved 5,400 litres of water per year. That’s a combined saving of 49,400 million litres per year. And that’s a water, cost and carbon emissions saving that’s not to be sniffed at!

About Yarra Valley Water

Yarra Valley Water is the largest of Melbourne’s three water retailers. In October 2020, the water company launched a new initiative with Advizzo to demonstrate that customer engagement, using behavioural science techniques, can decrease water consumption for customers with digital water meters – thereby increasing water conservation.

Headquartered in Melbourne’s east, Yarra Valley Water’s service area covers 4,000 square kilometers. Every day more than 2 million people (around 30 percent of the state’s population) and 58,000 businesses rely on Yarra Valley Water’s water and sanitation services.

Melbournians are already using 22 percent less water than they were ten years ago, but Melbourne’s population is set to double, and scientists are also predicting more extreme droughts in the future. Yarra Valley Water is keen to find new ways to improve its water network, reduce household water consumption and improve water conservation.

Yarra Valley Water, in combination with Advizzo software, launched a new customer engagement initiative, initially aimed at targeting Yarra Valley Water customers that have digital water meters.

The water company is keen to capitalise on Advizzo’s proven behavioural science-based customer engagement programme, which can help deliver up to 3% water savings. As part of the programme, Yarra Valley Water customers with digital water meters received a personalised water use report and access to a bespoke web portal, with messages designed to encourage behavioural changes and ultimately reduce water consumption and bills.

About Advizzo

Advizzo believes in the power of partnerships to help energy and water companies optimize their operations whilst driving more sustainable consumption behaviours.

  • Advizzo solutions are flexible to enable you to evolve your messaging to the right audience at the right time and via the right channel
  • Advizzo widgets and messages cater for omni-channel display, delivery and tracking (web, app, email, paper, voice, etc…). Digital/web/email is a must, with other channels such as App/notifications depending on your roadmap, but paper reports have, to date, proven to be most effective at reducing overall water consumption.
  • Solutions built to adapt and embrace innovation: develop portfolio reports with CO2 tracking, combine water + energy, add carbon footprint tracker and tailored solutions to drive Net Zero…
  • Advizzo’s SaaS tools are flexible and can be switched on and off to adapt to your existing and future capabilities, as well as your customer roadmap.
  • Specific customer segments may benefit from new channels (e.g. voice for visually impaired customers) whilst other channels such as SMS could prove most effective at reaching customers for campaigns such as reducing peak demand.
  • Advizzo’s communications engine and Randomized Control trials may help you find the best ways to reduce consumption overall as customer segments may react differently depending on multiple factors, including the context, the message or the channel(s) used. Advizzo’s solutions to tailor content to each customer will generally help drive a more positive response.
  • Advizzo’s team of experts may also provide independent and impartial advice to help our partners avoid pitfalls, risks and wasted efforts, as well as to ensure the content and design are optimized. For example, we’ll recommend different insights and advice for efficient vs. very high consumers.

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