Emerging Entrepreneurs

A smart way to plug water leaks and save utility bills

R Balaji | Updated on November 26, 2019 Published on November 25, 2019

Abilash Haridass, Director, WEGoT Utility Solutions   -  R. Balaji

WEGoT has developed an IoT-based solution that provides insights into water usage

Using the power of internet to solve some old problems – and help consumers save on utility bills by preventing wastage – is what WEGoT Utility Solutions does. The company’s name itself is a play on Internet of Things in water, electricity and gas, says Abilash Haridass, Director and co-founder.

Though formally launched in April 2015, the company had been in play a year-and-a-half previously as it finetuned its first product, an end-to-end water management solution. By the time WEGoT was incorporated it hit the ground running with a couple of clients, says Abilash.

Soon solutions for power and gas will also go on stream.

The solution for water, Venaqua, deployed in over 30,000 residences and over 25 million sq ft of commercial space has contributed to saving over a billion litres of water, says Abilash.

How it works

Water supply cannot be increased infinitely; the obvious solution is to save, he says. Okay. So how exactly is it done?

There are two elements to it.

 

 

 

One is the hardware, an ultrasonic sensor that will be fixed on the water supply line. Typically, a two-bedroom apartment will have three sensors, a 3-BHK will have four…and so on. A control unit is also needed.

The equipment, developed by WEGoT team, is ultrasonic sensor-based and is accurate and will not impede water flow like the traditional water meters do. The sensor is IoT-enabled and sends out data on usage to the company’s cloud-based server and to the house owner’s smartphone. So, there is no need for somebody to do a ‘meter reading’ to keep track of usage.

The Venaqua app, the water management solution also developed in-house, will provide insights on water savings. It can tell where, how much quantity of water is being used, if there is a leak, and what savings are possible.

All this is in real time, he says, as he whips out his own smartphone and shows the data flowing in from a residence.

“We have contributed to saving 30-50 per cent of the water used in projects where our solution has been deployed,” he says. When a householder knows specifically where and how the water is being used, then it is easier to assess what savings are possible.

Data can be stored for comparison to track increase or decrease in usage. Even facility managers can track how much water is coming in to the community, including the number of water tankers, how much each tanker has supplied and water can be audited in real time.

Even sewage treatment plant output, water reused for irrigation, club house everything can be tracked, he says.

So, what would it cost a user to be able to get this tech? The equipment is free, says Abilash. There will be some installation charge and a monthly subscription. There are three monthly packages — ₹149 per house; ₹199, which includes the facility manager feature; and, ₹299, which has auto shut off of water supply in case of water leakage.

For commercial properties the charge is ₹0.20 a sq ft. For the year ending March 2019, the company’s revenue was ₹7.8 crore and in the current year it is bound to double and grow multifold in the coming years as the residential projects where its solutions have been deployed are completed and get occupied, he says.

Also, in a couple of quarters it will have a solution for individual houses. The solutions for electricity will be rolled out next year, he says.

On scaling up operations, Abilash says till recently when the company raised $2 million, WEGoT had been bootstrapped.

Now with the seed fund raise led by GoFrugal, iThought and Brigade Enterprises, it is looking at expanding its team and presence in nine cities, including major metros and smaller cities. As of now, WEGoT’s employees strength is 70 and in a few months will go to 150 depending on the pace of recruitment.

Published on November 25, 2019
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