Blockchain could revolutionise the non-household water retail market, MOSL’s digital strategy committee chair Nick Rutherford has claimed.

The potential for blockchain technology in the non-domestic water market, which opened to competition in April last year, is huge, he told attendees at a meeting of the Utility Week-Wipro Innovation and Technology Council.

Blockchain could streamline processes such as new connections and customer switching and settlement – which are currently laborious and “admin-heavy”.

By cutting out certain parts of these processes, the use of blockchain – a digitised, decentralised, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions – could make them instantaneous, Rutherford suggested. Currently, the settlement process can take anywhere between 30 and 60 days.

He suggested the water market is ripe for the take-up of the technology, as it is “centralised and new”. “We’re heavily reliant on asset and meter read information, which is shared across multiple stakeholders across the industry.”

He added: “We’re a small market which is simple in comparison to the energy sector – there are only retailers and wholesalers in our marketplace.

“But also, we’re going to grow, both in terms of functionality, but also in terms of demographics, so as and when domestic competition is introduced into the water sector, that’s going to increase our footfall from 1 million customers to maybe 60 million customers.”

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