GIS Quality Assurance – United Utilities

united-utilities-logoResponding to the needs of an increasingly regulated and demanding utilities market, United Utilities embarked upon a major project to implement a fully integrated GIS model of their electricity distribution network serving over 2 million customers across the North West of England.

The GIS project was partly undertaken to help meet regulatory requirements for standards of service and to enable prompt and accurate identification of physical assets relating to specific customers so that fault identification and, where appropriate, compensation requirements could be achieved. Providing a comprehensive geographical representation of the entire network and modelling the connectivity between physical assets e.g. sub-stations, transformers, cables, joints and street furniture etc, the GIS model has enabled United Utilities to improve service delivery by helping response times of accurate, reliable and up-to-date information utilised by planning and operational staff, as well as field engineers via ruggedised laptop computers.

Comprising 12 million asset features, more than 100 million attributes and a further 2.4 million address features, the GIS model took over 2 years to complete at a total cost of £9.62M, incorporating 45,000 km of underground cables, 14,000 km of overhead lines and 18,000 substations.

OccupEye had previously established a close working relationship with United Utilities following the successful completion of the ESCAR project, involving the capture of 210,000 large format paper network records that were based on OS mapping and in multi colour format to represent the various network voltages. These paper records detailed the electricity distribution network, previously held at drawing offices in Manchester, Preston, Kendal and Carlisle. Seen as a ‘stepping stone’ to a fully integrated GIS model, the ESCAR project provided United Utilities with a seamless raster map base of the network within GIS…

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