Street Smart: How Northumbrian Water and Cadent Gas Reduce Fines and Improve Compliance

Our latest Vynners Community event spotlighted game-changers from Northumbrian Water and Cadent Gas, sharing their key insights on how they’re reducing fines and improving regulatory compliance. We also had the honour of hearing from a special guest, Monisha Gower, Assets Director at Northumbrian Water Group.

In an industry where fines for non-compliance loom large, Cadent Gas’s journey is nothing short of remarkable; achieving over 80% reduction in non-compliance fines. Similarly, Northumbrian Water have reduced flooding incidents by a staggering 95%; empowering their expert engineers to deliver right, first time.

“Being game-changers is absolutely essential as we move forward. We all need to be relentless about challenging the norms and the status quo to drive forward innovation and work smarter. Technology and innovation are allowing us to work smarter. It is inspiring to hear some of the big things that both Northumbrian Water and Cadent Gas are creating.

Monisha Gower, Assets Director at Northumbrian Water Group

How Northumbrian Water Cut Flooding Incidents by 95% and Saved Potential Penalties of Over £2 Million

Benn Elsey, Flooding Operations Manager at Northumbrian Water, tackled significant challenges related to flooding incidents. Northumbrian Water wanted to prevent flooding incidents caused by operations and quickly assess any impacts caused. Flooding, in the context of water utility operations, refers to situations where waste ends up somewhere it shouldn’t be. Water companies need to declare every flooding incident they’re responsible for. 

With Vyn, Benn’s team reduced internal and external flooding incidents by 95% which avoided substantial potential penalties of over £2 million. This innovation allowed for immediate and effective decision-making with insights directly from the field.

Ben’s Top Tips:

  • Listen to your team and harmonise solutions that meet business needs while enhancing user experience.
  • Don’t assume something can’t be done – “I went to Vyn with an idea I never thought possible, and we launched a new process on the back of that discussion”.
  • Be prepared for failure, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. Let it mature as you go. If it doesn’t work out the first time, we’ll try once again.

“We had an average of around 30 incidents. Last year, we only had three. The reduction of 27 has effectively helped us to avoid a penalty of £530,000 in that year. The video evidence has been invaluable.”

Benn Elsey, Flooding Operations Manager at Northumbrian Water

How Cadent Gas Achieved 85% Savings on Street Works Penalties

William Bessa-Simons, Senior Investment Delivery Manager at Cadent Gas, discussed how they used Vyn to improve the safety culture and quality of work across distributed street work sites. Cadent Gas has seen a significant drop in non-compliance fines by 62% in the first year and 85% in the second.

Here’s how it works: contractors in the field record a short, guided video at the start and end of each day, showing and talking about site conditions, hazards identified, and safety measures.

This gives management comprehensive visibility of distributed sites and eliminates the need for time-consuming site visits. Management can now review and monitor site conditions remotely, alerting users of issues to be resolved proactively. 
Vyn’s AI scans the audio and video for compliance with regulations such as correct signage and safe site conditions. When it detects issues, like missing signs, it instantly flags them to the site worker and to the management team.

William’s Top Tips:

  • Don’t limit your imagination, rather always look for opportunities to say “yes” to innovation and then work through the implementation process.
  • Be passionate about wanting to improve. Shift the narrative from “can’t” to “how can we make it work”.
  • Use technology to become more efficient and effective. There is so much innovation to bring especially into the utility industry; this will create capacity in our teams to achieve more.

“In year one, we saved 62% on our charges, year two 85% and just this year we’ve managed to save another 45% off the charges. The AI capability is able to pick non compliances in advance.”

William Bessa-Simons, Senior Investment Delivery Manager at Cadent Gas

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Don’t miss our next Vynners Community event in July, where we’ll spotlight game-changers in utilities, telecoms, and green energy who have driven meaningful change and achieved tangible results. Sign up here to continue the journey of innovation and excellence.