South East Water Smart Meter Data Analytics

Helping one U.K. agency organize – and make sense – of all that data

South East Water (SEW) is planning the implementation of a Smart Network that will integrate existing infrastructure, introduce smart metering and increased Internet of Things (IoT) sensor density to deliver more effective decision making that will reduce leakage and improve operational efficiencies. SEW engaged us to be part of the trial, drawing on our best practices and experience to help pilot new technology.

View of the London Eye and House of Parliament on the River Thames
  • 98.5 %

    success rate read over 72 hours, a complete and accurate look at SEW’s data

  • 15

    year battery life with accelerated communications with IoT meters

Testing new tech in London

SEW asked us to be part of the NB IoT trial by developing the expression of interest (EOI), evaluate responses, support the rollout and evaluate the success of the trial. As part of the trial development, we worked with key stakeholders to define critical success factors, risks and concerns.  These included:

  • Leverage industry best practices to establish competitive advantage while mitigating risk.
  • Ensure defensible evaluation results.
  • Establish accurate O&M measures and additional staffing needs (before we get started).
  • Ensure a complete end-to-end solution, with single point of accountability.

We provided expert advisory services to SEW to help them develop criteria to assist in vendor evaluation, identify what contractors would provide the best services to deliver on the trial objectives, identify risks and pitfalls with system integration, challenge costs of shortlisted proposals, optimise smart metering offering to align with long term strategic goals and choose software providers that will best fit with existing infrastructure and future expansion plans.

During the trial, we worked closely with SEW to ensure that desired outcomes were met. These included:

  • Demonstrate that the system works (meters provide complete and accurate data, network provides 98.5% read success rate over 72 hours, headend provides auto-backfill of missed meter reads, accelerated comms demonstrate 15-year battery life).
  • Validate system integration (a vendor-agnostic data lake is created, two existing IT systems are successfully integrated with the data lake).
  • Validate potential leakage reductions (system can identify customer side leaks, demonstrate proactive notification of customer side leaks/breaks, system provides DMA management and predictive analytics).

Because NB IoT is a relatively new technology, SEW was keen to test the system, devices and data protocols before rolling out a meter replacement program beyond the trial population.  Some of the tests conducted included:

  • Field testing to identify where network coverage and communication channels for existing infrastructure performs best and why.
  • Integration with existing systems; risk was pushed to the vendor before attempting to test solutions within SEW network.
  • Partners have tested devices in other countries as well as small pockets within U.K.