There won’t be a “one size fits all” smart technology for the water industry as each water firm will have different issues and their own ways of dealing with them.
That’s the view of Jeremy Heath, Network Manager at Sutton and East Surrey Water, who believes that’s what makes the sector interesting compared to the energy industry.
He told ELN: “You might look at one company that has a massive issue with leakage – they will look at rolling out a solution that enables them to understand where the water is going and control their leakage level. Another company may say actually the problem that we’ve got is that we have huge variance between our average and our peak demand. We want to roll out a solution that instead of looking at every property, looks at key accounts and says how can we get them to move or change their usage patterns.
“So each company will be coming up with a slightly different variation on what they’re going to do. That I think makes it very interesting. There won’t be one size that fits all for the water industry.”
On whether the Government is doing enough for the water sector as it has done for the energy industry on the smart meter rollout, Mr Heath said: “The Government has stepped back and said ‘We will allow the water companies to make their own cases’ and I can understand that. They want to make sure that it’s cost-justified and that we don’t just put up the bills for the customers on the basis that we think it’s a nice idea. We have to justify all of those costs.”
However, he added: “I think it would help if there was a bit more steer from the Government in terms of how we can justify all of this and how we can put together cases but I do think that it will come down to individual companies coming up with solutions and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It encourages us to look at innovative ways of doing things.”
ELN will be hosting a special webinar looking into ‘smart’ data and the issues tomorrow – Wednesday March 12th at 1400.