Keeping water supplies moving with a sustainable fleet


  • United Utilities is the water and wastewater service provider for 3 million homes and businesses in Northwest England. 

  • The company was searching for a solution that would provide optimised driver route planning, predictive maintenance, reduced repair costs and improve carbon emissions. 

  • With Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics, United Utilities significantly reduced repair costs and maintenance times, as well as improving vehicle availability by at least a third. 

Meet United Utilities 

United Utilities is responsible for water and wastewater services in Northwest England. To deliver 1.8 billion litres of water daily to three million homes and businesses, the company relies on a vast, behind-the-scenes operation, involving hundreds of reservoirs, treatment works and pumping stations; thousands of kilometres of water pipes and sewers; and a workforce of 5,000 people.  

Moving these teams around the area they need to cover every day, requires a wide range of fleet vehicles – more than 2,300 vans, cars and trucks, plus 500 specialist plant items. 

The challenge 

Create a greener, more sustainable fleet 

Although United Utilities is increasingly digital, many jobs still need employees to be on the spot.  

As such, reaching customers in time in an emergency is of the utmost importance to the company, which is why it needs safe vehicles with drivers ready to be on the road at a moment’s notice. The size of the organisation, however, makes logistics tricky. Optimised driver route planning, predictive maintenance, reduced maintenance costs and safe driving behaviour – all these factors need consideration on a daily basis.  

To answer the challenge and comply with the commitment to become carbon net zero, United Utilities came to Vodafone Business for a practical solution that could be implemented with minimal disruption. 

“Vodafone understood the challenges we faced by switching to an electric fleet. Their expertise helped us find out what was possible, ensuring the changes supported our charging infrastructure and helped us make the right decisions for our business.”

The solution 

Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics 

Powered by Geotab, Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics offers real-time vehicle performance data through telematics.

This helps the maintenance garages at United Utilities spot issues with vehicles before they become a logistical or safety issue. The data is used to help the company’s teams reduce vehicle wear and tear, fuel costs and carbon emissions – especially during times when the vehicle isn’t travelling but must keep its engine running out of necessity.

In addition, Fleet Analytics also issues driver behaviour reports that provide drivers with feedback on their driving, including reporting harsh braking, cornering and speeding, which can be used for driver improvement training and other education programmes.

The benefits 

Higher efficiency, improved availability 

Thanks to Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics, improvements were noticed almost immediately. Stephen Wolstenholme, Head of Fleet at United Utilities, confirms: “Regular predictive maintenance helps us avoid lengthy out-of-service times, reduce repair costs and improve availability for our vehicles by as much as a third. More availability also means a smaller total fleet.” 

With driver behaviour reports, there’s a positive impact on not only employee safety but also customer relationships. “Our vehicles are one of the most recognisable aspects of the brand. It’s important that they’re driven responsibly, thus showing that we care about what we do,” explains Stephen. 

Why Vodafone

Vehicles go fully electric 

More than 2,300 fully electric vehicles at United Utilities by 2028. 

Employees kept safe 

Around 5,000 employees safeguarded with drive analytics. 

More vehicles available

33% improvement in overall vehicle availability. 

An electric future 

United Utilities is committed to moving to a fully green fleet by 2028 as part of its journey towards carbon net zero. Given that its fleet is replaced every seven years, the company started using insights from the Green Fleet Dashboard available with Vodafone Business Fleet Analytics, as well as data gathered from its Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment report.

With this information, United Utilities has been able to effectively draft an environmental impact plan, determining which vehicles should be switched to electric, how to reduce carbon emissions faster and how changes would impact the business’s infrastructure.

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