Wessex Water launches ‘Smart Dorchester’ customer engagement trial


Bath, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 28, 2013 – Southwest England water supplier Wessex Water has launched a trial to engage customers at both individual and community levels to build customer support while also encouraging water efficiency.

The trial, the first of its kind in the U.K. according to the company, will involve about 1,000 customers, including residential customers, local businesses and schools.

The aim is to engage with customers more fully by:

  • Giving them clear and instant price and usage information helping them to save both water and money
  • Showing how their water use compares with similar households
  • Offering the ability to raise money for local schools and charities through a reward scheme
  • Providing practical water and energy efficiency advice via their medium of choice, e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.

Wessex Water said the trial is borne out of concerns of the company becoming progressively more invisible to customers. Further, it is also intended to build on the findings of its recent trial on metering and alternative tariff structures, which demonstrated the value of water metering, in particular the installation of a water meter in a residence on change of occupancy, but dissatisfaction with seasonal tariffs.

“We do not think falling back to the status quo is credible given the challenges that the water industry is facing,” said Wessex Water, commenting that the Smart Dorchester trial will allow customers to engage with and feel in control of their water use through near instantaneous cost and water use information via smart technology. They will also be able to compare their water use with norms and government aspirations, and receive rewards at both individual and community levels for using water wisely. Seasonal tariffs will be offered as an option.