Are water companies doing enough to engage consumers and encourage them to change their behaviour?
We're using some of the modern nudge and engagement techniques with our customers to reduce sewer flooding and wastewater flooding – and particularly floods that are caused by people putting wet wipes down the toilet.
So there's a local social media campaign, and we’ve given people bins for their bathrooms – especially in areas that have had repeat events. We’ve used that to build awareness and get people to change their habits. Another initiative I thought was brilliant was, before the pandemic broke out, our team offered house visits to fix leaking toilets for free. This reduces water use and also has a positive impact on customer bills by reducing demand. For us, less demand means there is less need to build or invest in new infrastructure. That’s a real win-win example.
We're seeing a lot of recognition and appreciation from our customers around the service we provide.
How does the water industry compare to oil and gas? And what are the best practices that you are bringing with you from the oil and gas sector?
Firstly, I am pleased to be joining the water sector and being a part of a very ethical business that really cares about the communities we work within and our suppliers and as well as our customers. It's very much a purpose-driven sector and that shines through in every interaction I have with my colleagues in NWG and the wider industry.
I think in the oil and gas industry, assets are at the core of the industry, and there is a fairly well-understood approach there to deciding what to invest in and how to deliver projects. Industry-standard ways of working on this were very effective because they had to be: that was how the industry drove its revenue and growth.
Understanding our assets, looking after them, optimising decisions and really understanding risk and making risk-based judgements. Really putting asset management at the heart of how we look after our assets These are highly applicable to the water industry, with its complex assets and big footprint, and I see these as opportunities for us. I'm delighted to be joining NWG, which has an intelligent asset management programme and recognises the importance of asset management.