National water retailer, Wave, has been successful in three bids submitted in the second round of the Market Improvement Fund.
The Market Improvement Fund was established to help encourage innovation in the non-household market (NHH) and provides funding to help deliver projects designed to benefit business customers and the market.
Wave’s successful bids include a Meter Condition Assessment which will be delivered with the support of OccuTrace Ltd. This project will offer significant benefits to customers, Retailers, Wholesalers and will enhance market functioning. As of 1 January 2021 there are 147,603 (11%) meters in the NNH market showing zero consumption which affects over 113,276 occupied business premises. By investigating a sample of these meters, Wave will build a source of evidential data to highlight the number of broken meters, any patterns such as age or manufacturer and understand at which point a meter is likely to fail.
Wendy Monk, Director of Regulation and Compliance, Wave commented, “The market was designed so that Wholesalers had ownership and maintenance of NHH meters, however, it didn’t include obligations for these meters to be maintained as accessible and capable of being read at all times. From our own analysis, we’ve identified that in around 65% of cases of a meter showing zero consumption, that meter is broken. This leaves customers in an extremely vulnerable position, especially if they have a leak. We believe that our investigation will provide the evidence required to inform the design of market improvements which will benefit all parties.”
Additionally, Wave has received funding for an Automated Water Efficiency Audits project in conjunction with Creative Network Consulting. The project is designed to support small businesses to decrease their average water consumption and take targeted actions to address any issues. It’ll use Internet of Things (IoT) technology (Water Event Metering) to deliver continuous Water Efficiency Audits across a pilot of 250 customers. The solution will use A/B testing (where two samples A and B are compared) to gain an understanding of how Wave could engage customers in water efficiency measures, what works best and enable MOSL members to use the best practice learnings to create new commercial propositions.
Finally, Wave is the sponsor of the third successful bid, REDUCED: Raising Efforts to Drive User Consumption Efficaciously Down, a project driven by Isle Utilities. Its purpose is to create an online portal for all retailers to provide them with access to emerging technologies designed to solve water efficiency challenges faced by their customers.
Oli Shelley, Head of Operations at Wave commented, “With around 33% of all water being consumed by business customers, it’s vital the market finds easily accessible, effective solutions to help companies of all sizes embrace water efficient practices. Both the Automated Water Efficiency Audits and REDUCED projects are designed to help business customers engage with their retailer to find practical, innovative solutions that can be easily implemented, resulting in lower bills, a reduced carbon footprint and a positive impact on our planet.”