United Kingdom water company Severn Trent Water has achieved its meter reading accuracy target just six months after implementing identity management services from GB Group, the company has announced.

Severn Trent is now well on the way to achieving Ofwat’s DG8 meter reading regulation and ensuring billing accuracy of 99.85% for its metered customers, avoiding under or overpaid bills and tying in to the company’s strategic targets to improve service in this area.

With around 1.2 million consumer water meters across a region covering approximately 21,000 km2, Severn Trent faced a challenge: reading its customers’ meters in a more efficient manner. The company’s target is to read all of its meters every year.

During the six-month test phase, GB had to optimise a range of challenging meter reading routes, selected by Severn Trent, matching individuals’ identities to addresses and ordering the route for visiting those addresses to maximise efficiency. This included matching the data against the Royal Mail’s postcode address file, adding geo-codes for geographical locations and then grouping the records together in the most efficient way to find the optimal route between the different points. Halving the number of unsequenced reads was a key goal. Through continuous testing and optimisation, GB met this target.

The results of the pilot project have since led to a further contract being signed. As part of this deal, GB’s solution will feature in Severn Trent’s new SAP-based IT platform and will offer address data together with accurate geo-locational identification techniques to be applied to all the company’s meters – even those without postal addresses and not yet built. The system spans thousands of the company’s employees, allowing the processing of a wide range of business functions. The service is delivered by web services, therefore, requiring no additional hardware on Severn Trent’s premises.

www.stwater.co.uk / www.gb.co.uk