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Thames Water surpasses 1 million smart meter installations

Wednesday 20th December 2023 12:30

Thames Water installs 1 million smart meters

Thames Water installs 1 million smart meters across London and the Thames Valley

  • The UK’s largest water and wastewater company has hit a major milestone by installing more than 1 million smart meters across the South East of England.
  • Smart meters are helping to find and fix leaks faster with over 80,000 identified since the rollout began in 2016.
  • The technology is playing a crucial role in protecting future water resources and reducing demand in a water stressed region.  
  • In 2024, Thames Water plans to install a further 78,000 smart meters across the Thames Valley and London. 
  • The company is investing in new technology processing over 20 million readings a day and giving customers near real-time data. 

Thames Water and its delivery partners Morrison Water Services and Arqiva have reached a significant milestone in its smart metering journey, surpassing more than a million installations across its region, and protecting future water resources in the process. 

It is the largest smart meter rollout in the UK, with installations currently taking place across London, Swindon and Oxford, with a further 78,000 fittings planned throughout 2024. Around 45,000 installations will be focused across the Thames Valley where demand continues to increase, while 33,000 smart meters will be deployed in London. 

Smart meters are giving customers greater control over their water use and helping households to save money on their bills. On average, Thames Water’s metered customers tend to use 12% less water and the company has already seen 17,000 customers choose to move onto a meter this year.

Mark Cooper, head of metering at Thames Water, said: “We’re committed to helping our customers use water wisely and our smart meters have been fundamental in reducing leaks and helping consumers to cut both their water and energy use, and reducing bills in the process.

“Thames Water has always championed the benefits of smart meters. Reaching over 1 million installations across our region is a huge milestone and is testament to our investment in new technology and commitment to protecting this precious resource.

“The near real-time data has given us insights into our customers’ water use, revealing when and where our customers’ use of water is changing. We’ve been able to adapt our plans and in 2024 we’ll be focusing our rollout efforts across the Thames Valley and Home Counties.” 

Cath Jones, Head of Company Engagement at the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), said: “Water can often be overlooked when it comes to cutting bills but for many households switching to a water meter can unlock annual savings running into hundreds of pounds. Metering is not only empowering more people to save money but also helping households to become more aware of how they can easily reduce their use of water and support wider efforts to protect our natural resources.”

The technology used in the smart meters is also playing a critical role in reducing leakage, providing the company and its customers with near real-time data providing up to 24 reads a day, compared to traditional meters which are read just twice a year.

The business is also future proofing its connectivity and has partnered with Vodafone to connect new meters to the communication technology company’s Narrowband IoT network, complementing the existing technology available.

Tom Stockwell, Head of Critical Infrastructure Business at Vodafone added, “Technology plays a pivotal role in reducing water leakage, and we are delighted to partner with Thames Water to help improve the service they provide their customers.”

Further, smart meters have helped detect more than 80,000 leaks on customers’ private supply pipes, which have been repaired, saving 57 million litres of water a day.

With around a third of leaks located on customers and businesses pipes, the devices and meter data are key to the company meeting its ambitious leakage reduction target, which aims to reduce leakage by 20% between 2020 and 2025. 

Customers who are thinking about making the switch can use the CCW’s water meter calculator to see how much they could save on their bills. The Thames Water website also includes helpful advice on the installation process and the 12-month bill comparison customer will receive before moving onto metered billing.