Queen Mary University of London educating others to achieve water savings

Lack of accurate meter readings for water was causing problems for Queen Mary University of London. We were able to help. To see how, read our blog below.

Posted on Aug 13, 2019

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Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is one of the UK’s leading research-focussed higher education institutions. With 25,332 students and an estimated water consumption of around 570,000m3 per annum across 39 supplies, they are one of the biggest University of London Colleges.

The Challenge

A lack of accurate meter readings and problems with QMUL’s existing water billing had proved highly demanding administratively. In addition, it was thought that an improved understanding of consumption trends would allow significant efficiency gains to be made. With the University setting ambitious targets for reducing their consumption, they were keen to look beyond short term unit rate savings and encourage long term efficiency with the help of LASER Energy’s Water Framework.

The Solution

Based on the University’s specification, LASER built an innovative mini-tender with a strong focus on efficiency services through their OJEU compliant framework. Highly competitive offers were received from 4 different retailers, and after an in-depth review, the winning offer was received from Water Plus who provided a range of benefits tailored to the University’s requirements. Water Plus is a joint venture between United Utilities and Severn Trent, two experienced companies in the water market.

Here at QMUL we are over the moon with how LASER worked with us to achieve a great water supply contract. It’s now up to us to act on all the new information we have so we can smash our 3-year savings target in less than six months.

Glyn Lee
Sustainability Energy Surveyor, Queen Mary University of London

The Results

Strong supplier engagement throughout the transfer process led to a seamless switch of water services retailer. Working closely with the meter reader ensured that all meters were read, including those which hadn’t been recorded for many years. As a result, the initial billing run produced highly accurate invoices and the electronic billing format used allows LASER to analyse the consumption to highlight any incorrect billing or suspect consumption patterns through our Water Bureau Service.

Automated Meter Reader (AMR) meters are also being installed which should aid rapid identification of any leaks. This, as well as real time data monitoring of supply points allowed a 1,250 litre per hour leak to be identified and fixed. Left untapped, this would have led to a £24,000 per annum rise in water bills. This is just one example of how the new retail contract has allowed the University to move towards proactive water management.

The graph below illustrates the spike in consumption, and the AMR identification of the leak, resulting in the problem being fixed and consumption returning to normal in a matter of days.

Blue graph on white background showing rises and falls of energy for QMUL

The Key Benefits Delivered & Savings

  • Half Hourly Automated Meter Reader (AMR) metering for all supplies at no additional charge to aid more rapid identification of leaks.
  • A retail price saving of £6,500 per annum.
  • A single monthly consolidated bill for the entire portfolio.
  • Provision of invoice data electronically for LASER to validate.
  • Accredited training in Trade Effluent for QMUL staff.
  • Wholesale Tariff optimisation to find errors in the wholesale set up, delivering further price saving.
  • University Fresher’s Fair engagement, offering free water efficiency gadgets for students.

Our Bureau Service

Effective Energy Management is crucial to the identification and elimination of wasted water and the reduction of costs. This is why finding the right Bureau service is so important. Our Bureau Service has been included to Queen Mary University of London's Water Mini Tender, resulting in the organisation benefitting from; validation, monitoring and in-depth reporting, which has been added to their existing energy dashboard.

As an existing LASER Bureau customer for their gas and electricity requirements, the university were able to collate all of their utilities together in a single location, monitoring all of their usage under LASER’s validation service and reducing the unit rate.


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If you're interested in finding out more about our Bureau service why not visit here or contact us and speaking to a member of time using the button below.

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