Majority of South West homes now on meters
MORE than half of householders in Devon and Cornwall are now on water meters – saving million of pounds and millions of litres.
Figures from South West Water show for the first time the number of our customers with meters is higher than those without. Some 53% - 395,000 households in the region – have meters and we forecast two out of every three customers will have them installed by 2010.
For many customers, switching to a meter puts pounds back in their pockets as free installation is often followed by lower bills.
Independent consumer website uSwitch estimates pensioners living on their own in the South West could save more than £200 annually with a meter. Meanwhile, a young couple in their first home could see their bill fall by £100 or more.
Well-known activist for the elderly Albert Venison knows what a bargain a meter can be and has been distributing advice leaflets through his Devon Pensioners' Action Forum around the region.
He said: "There is no reason why elderly people should be afraid of considering a meter. We would encourage everyone to take a look to see if you save money. I know I have been since having one."
Research also shows consumers on meters tend to use less water – so switching can not only save money but also help protect the environment.
South West Water's Director of Customer Service Monica Read added: "Switching to a meter has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for tens of thousands of our customers. Meters tend to make consumers keep more of an eye on their everyday water use and reward them financially for using less.
"And although the region is thankfully not experiencing the same water restrictions as other parts of the country, we always advise our customers to use water wisely. Metering does play a helpful role in protecting our region's precious water resources."
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Published: 25 September 2006
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Figures from uSwitch based on average water consumption and current South West Water charges. However, meters will not suit every property or customer.
- In the first water meter trials in 1988 on the Isle of Wight, 53,500 householders used on average 10% less water.
- In 2005/06, a total of 30,714 meters were fitted to homes in the region compared to 25,386 the year before.
- For more information on switching to a meter in your home see our 'See also: and Downloads' links on the right where our ready reckoner help estimates your usage and possible savings. A special section also answers common questions on installing a meter.
- Meters will not be suitable for every property but South West Water can issue an assessed charge based on average metered use for similar properties.
- To ask about meter installation please call the South West Water freephone line on 08000 083 4301 or fill in the online form (Apply for a meter).