Wave and OccuTrace join forces to tackle business’ broken water meters

Media release date: 3 October 2022

As part of a winning Market Improvement Fund bid, national water retailer, Wave, and specialist data collection provider, OccuTrace, are building on their existing partnership to investigate business’ water meters showing zero consumption. 

Data from MOSL shows that there are currently over 147,600 (11%) meters in the Non-Household (NHH) market showing zero consumption, which affects over 113,270 occupied business premises across England. Although some may be correct, Wave’s own analysis suggests that in c.65% of cases, it’s likely the meter is broken, meaning thousands of customers across England may have no access to their business’ water consumption data, would never know if they had a leak and may be paying incorrect bills.

This project, funded through the Market Improvement Fund, sees OccuTrace visit a sample of 2,000 supply points with meters showing zero-consumption from October to December. The sample will incorporate a variety of meter sizes, ages, manufacturers, types and customer segments across all Wholesale areas in England. The results will be used as evidence for new meters to be fitted at each affected site as well as to build a source of evidential data which shows the condition of NHH meter assets across the market and help inform the design of future market improvements.

In a comment from Wave’s Metering and Operations Manager, Claire Stanness said, “We’re proud to be one of only two retailers to be awarded funding in this round and have the opportunity to throw a spotlight on what we believe to be a significant barrier in the non-household market. By working with OccuTrace to understand how many NHH meters are actually broken, any patterns such as age or manufacturer and translate this data into actionable insights and market improvements, we believe this project will offer significant benefits to customers, retailers and wholesalers and ensure consumption data is reliable and available to all business customers at all times.” 

David McKenzie, Managing Director from OccuTrace commented, “We’re really excited to be participating in our second Market Improvement Fund Project and in doing so further extend our partnership with Wave. Our aim is to deliver robust and evidenced outcomes that leads the way in understanding the landscape on potentially broken meters in the market. 
Finding root causes of the problems and providing actionable data sets is one of our strengths. It feels great to be a part of the project that is going to move the market forward and will help develop the knowledge base for improvements in the industry.”

The project, which runs until December is the latest joint initiative between Wave and OccuTrace following an investigation into long unread meters (LUMs) in 2021. The results of which are now being used to address and reduce the number of meters in the market with no read for over 12 months.