Circle Case study

How South West Water uses Ocean data to achieve their ambition of eradicating water poverty

Utilising Ocean data: South West Water's strategy to eradicate water poverty


For over 30 years, South West Water (SWW) has been supplying reliable and high-quality drinking and wastewater services to customers throughout South West England.

When the business was tasked with developing an affordability model for their customers, they set themselves a target of getting customers out of water poverty and onto the right support tariffs where necessary. While their own data and customer insight could act as a starting point, SWW recognised the impact that pairing this with CACI’s Ocean data would have on achieving their desired outcome.

The Challenge:

Higher financial strain due to the cost-of-living crisis, coupled with the industry-wide ambition of eradicating water poverty by 2025, made it imperative for customers who require and are eligible for support to be proactively identified and lifted out of water poverty through SWW’s holistic affordability toolkit.

The Solution:

Understanding the SWW brief, challenge and previous models used by the industry, a bespoke and granular dataset was created to supply a unique and current perspective into equivalised income at a 6/7-digit
postcode level, in conjunction with the wider validating characteristics of these customers, the complete SWW household customer and the property base.

South West Water built a model which combines this data with their own billing data at a customer level, enabling them to calculate the percentage of equivalised income from their customers’ current spend on their water bill at a property level. They can further combine this with OBR forecasts of income, housing costs and bill profiles to 2030 to model water poverty and wider outcomes into the future.

The Results:

From July 2022 to September 2023, over 15,000 customers were auto-enrolled onto support tariffs and brought out of water poverty. The affordability model enabled SWW to directly engage with these customers, build their trust and encourage further contact and conversation, particularly where customers may be entitled to or require additional support or services.

The use of the full range of our affordability toolkit remains critical to our ambition, we are now able to a high degree of confidence identify and, subject to further validation, engage with and auto-enrol customers onto our tariffs and bring them out of water poverty. These customers are often the struggling silent and hardest to reach who — without the data provided by CACI and the wider inputs into the model — we would not have had the capability to lift out of water poverty or achieve our commitment of eradicating water poverty which we are on track to achieve and is at the heart of our approach.

John Huxtable, Customer and Recovery Data and Insight Manager at SWW

Read the case study

You can access and download the full case study here. If you have any questions or want to learn more about CACI’s solutions, please get in touch with us.