Thames Water: A Strategic Move into Predictive Planning

Wipro helped Thames Water install 40,000 smart meters in London area in 6 months by building a secure and sustainable path for affordable water supply via a Fixed Network Integration solution

Client Background

Thames Water Utilities Ltd is the largest water and wastewater company in the UK. It has 15 million customers and supplies around 2.6 billion liters of tap water across London and the Thames Valley. As part of its Progressive Metering Program (PMP), it aims to pioneer the roll out of smart water meters in the UK between now and 2030 to improve water management. The PMP will also provide customers online access to their accounts through a My Meter Online (MMO) initiative. MMO will empower customers by giving them greater control over water usage and billing.

Industry Landscape

The Thames Water region is forecast to be extremely water stressed by 2030 because of climate change, population growth and increasing customer use. Demand will outstrip supply and providing water to households and businesses will become increasingly challenging. It is, therefore, essential that the water industry put in place a strategy, infrastructure and technology that together drive sustainable water management to meet demand. To achieve this, smart metering is considered an essential tool.

Opportunity

As of now, 65% of the properties served by Thames Water are unmetered. For the remaining 35%, meter readings are done once in 6 months. This means Thames Water has very small data sets available to calculate and predict demand, consumption and leakages. Its PMP aims to improve the smart meter base to 80% by 2030. The smart meters will provide hourly readings of each property, thereby enabling Thames Water to access accurate and usable data that can help predict demand, consumption, leakages and guide customers on optimizing their water usage. The outcome is expected to improve water availability along with energy and monetary savings.

Solution

Wipro leveraged its extensive domain expertise and understanding of smart metering, customer journey engineering and lifecycle management to commence a project named Fixed Network Integration (FNI). This project, which delivered our solution, Fixed Network Integration, helped Thames Water meet the key objectives:

  • No dependency on manual reads
  • Increase in bills on actual reads (reduction in estimated bills)
  • Better cash flow
  • Trend analysis to detect unusual usage
  • Detecting water leakage on network as well as customer pipes and water fittings
  • Online access to accounts that could help improve water usage, leading to savings in water, energy and money

The FNI initiative provided customers a daily and monthly view of their usage in an easy-to-understand graphical format.

Business Impact

“This FNI solution has paved the way for the rollout of our Progressive Smart Metering Program the biggest of its kind in the UK water industry. Wipro, which has been a strategic partner for Thames Water for over 10 years, helped achieve this milestone. This was a complex delivery that required effective planning, management and execution”. Yashvanth Shetty Metering Program Manager, Thames Water

“This is really a great achievement, given we were able to install over 40,000 smart meters in such a short time frame with some really critical systems involved”. Harish Rajani Smart Metering Systems & Data Manager, Thames Water

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