Project One - Smart Metering in the water sector

Is your smart metering programme in full flow?

At Project One, we have identified six key areas of focus in delivering successful outcomes from your smart metering programme 1. Alignment on the transformational nature of smart metering

At Project One, we have been supporting a leading water company in the delivery of their smart metering programme. A new area of focus for the sector, the potential is huge, but how many water companies are optimising the delivery of their smart metering programme? The National Smart Metering Programme in the power sector is now well advanced with around 30 million smart meters deployed and connected to a national network via the Smart Data Communications Company (DCC). Distribution Network Operator (DNO) users of the DCC data are gaining benefit by having a better understanding of the smart grids in their areas and Retail Supply users of the DCC are developing greater insights in their customers usage on a much more granular basis after implementing what has been the biggest change in the sector since deregulation. Although the water sector has not gone through the same change in terms of a household deregulated market, the time is right now to start looking in greater depth at how deploying smart water meters at scale can help them manage their water networks, assets and customer interactions.

The benefits of digitisation Given the scale of the issues affecting the water sector currently, including water stress in certain parts of the country, the volume of leakage and the regulator desire to drive better performance in this area, a growing population with more connections to water networks and increasing water poverty, the implementation of Smart Meters can help with the management of the water supply, distribution and billing to customers. There has long been a move to leverage new technology in the sector and the introduction of sensors to water and wastewater networks has been a growing area of activity. The advances in smart metering technology, coupled with the mobile networks development now allows water companies to deploy meters at scale and really leverage the benefits that are available to them. Some organisations such as Thames Water have been trialling advanced or smart metering for a while now and others such as Anglian Water and Northumbrian Water have implemented pilot studies to prove the technology and benefits in their areas. This AMP period (2020-2025) has seen a lot more ambition baked into the spending plans around digitisation and the implementation of emerging technology. The benefits for the sector are huge:

3. Asset, IT and network strategies Building on your current foundations, identify the direction you want to go in with regard to your asset, IT and network strategies taking in to account your network and IT architectures, your procurement principles and the nature of your

5. Organisation structure and resourcing A big area of change will be the new organisation structure to deploy and manage smart meters at scale. In order to realise the outcomes and benefits identified, new areas of capability will need to be created and sustained covering installation, field services, customer services, asset maintenance and management. 6. Leverage the Data Finally, as you will be essentially creating a link from the operational technology through to the enterprise technology, a whole new mass of data will be available which could prove to be incredibly helpful to realising the benefits. Having the ability to utilise this data and creating the relevant insights will be essential.

Mobilising and delivering programmes of this scale and complexity across an organisation is difficult. You need to make sure all areas of the business are aligned on the need for change and that there is common agreement that embarking on this kind of journey needs to be treated as transformational. This will ensure it has the budgets and resources to support effective implementation and the will to drive through the benefits, which could be substantial. 2. Develop a long-term smart metering roadmap Plan your programme with stages designed to build resources and organisational capability in the relevant areas such as IT, networks, asset management, meter deployment, field and customer services. Select your suppliers and start small, growing at the pace that is right for you with the intention of building your learning, meeting your regulatory targets, but without compromising on day- to-day delivery.

geographical locations. 4. Operating model

Be clear on the changes required to your organisation in terms of scaling up capability and how your organisation needs to be organised to deliver. Questions around how to manage the deployment, field service management and customer experience will need to be examined. How quickly you need to change your organisation structure and capabilities will need to be aligned with the roadmap and asset, IT and network deployment strategy.

Benefits to the Customer

Benefits to the Water Company

Gain control of water usage through real time information More accurate bills based on actual consumption Understand how you play your part in the management of the water table, especially in water stressed areas such as the south-east of England Better engagement and relationship with your water supplier

Greater understanding of the water grid and its management Support the reduction in leakage through better network management (understanding of customer and distribution losses) as well as the subsequent benefits of reducing leakage including less water production and chemical costs Increase operational resilience through identification of network weaknesses Help reduce customer per capita consumption by identifying those with high consumption Improve asset management and maintenance through supporting better understanding of asset performance Enablement of greater customer engagement and dialogue

“Project One have provided significant value through bringing together the right senior practitioners with a wealth of experience in the areas required to deliver at pace and quality against the brief. The team take the time to understand the business and the problem in depth to ensure that the solution and proposals are the right fit. The team created a collaborative environment from day 1, putting the those engaged at ease and helping enhance our complex change programme of activity.” Head of Programme

real change • real difference

Our experience Leveraging our knowledge of major programme delivery, the water sector, and the National Smart Metering Programme in the energy sector we are supporting the successful delivery of a leading water company’s smart metering programme. Initially, brought in to deliver a programme assurance review, we spoke to over 20 key stakeholders on the programme and wider business, reviewed the progress to date and, leveraging our proven Change Leadership Methodology, produced and presented a report highlighting a number of key areas of focus to accelerate to improve the programme maturity and effectiveness. We went on to collaborate on their Target Operating Model project designed to deliver an end state vision of the organisation that can deploy meters and utilise the data from a smart meter base of scale. Within this, we are also delivering interim target state operating models in the short and medium term to support them on their smart metering journey in the coming years.

Do you need change expertise? Building on our team’s experience of delivering transformation programmes in the Energy and Utilities sector, including energy companies smart metering programmes as well as the UK Governments National Smart Metering Programme, we are well placed to support the water sector in its ambition to deploy smart meters to all households in the UK. If you need help to shape or deliver your Smart Metering Programme, or just want a sounding board, please get in touch with

real change • real difference

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