Thames Water brings ‘smart water meters’ to Waltham Forest

Last reviewed:

18 October 2016

Leak-detecting smart meters will soon put Waltham Forest residents in control of their water, helping them make money-saving changes to how they use water at home.

  • New technology to help borough residents take control of water use and detect leaks
  • Thames Water offering free home visits to help customers save water, energy and money
  • Population growth and climate change putting pressure on water resources

Leak-detecting smart meters will soon put Waltham Forest residents in control of their water, helping them make money-saving changes to how they use water at home.

This October, the borough will receive the water industry’s latest technology as part of Thames Water's metering programme, currently rolling out across the capital.

The meters give residents instant access to water use data, online or by phone, allowing them to see how efficient their home is and track how simple water-saving efforts – like four minute showers and turning the tap off while brushing your teeth– are paying off on their bill. A four-year independent study carried out on Southern Water’s metering programme found their customers used 16% less water once a meter had been installed - when people pay for what they use, they value what they pay for, and tend to use less.

Thames Water will also be offering award-winning free home visits from a team who can check how water efficient a house is and install water-saving gadgets. After a home visit, a family of four could save as much as £180 a year on their water and energy bills.

Since the same programme was launched in the neighbouring borough of Enfield in 2015, more than 500,000 litres, the equivalent of nearly 7,000 baths full of water, is being saved in that area each day.

Danny Leamon, Thames Water’s head of metering said: “Our smart metering programme has already saved millions of litres in other London boroughs and we’ll be doing the same in Waltham Forest. This is good news for customers, who will have access to new technology to help them reduce their water usage and bills, and great news for the environment, as there are increasing pressures on our water sources.

Over the next few months we’ll be in touch with customers to let them know what’s happening and we’ll also have a team out and about to answer any questions in person.”

The new technology means there’ll be no need for householders to send meter readings to the water company, and the usage data reported by the smart meters will also allow Thames Water teams to discover where there are leaks on a customer’s personal pipe, and fix them for free, helping to stop water from being wasted.

Households will have two years to understand and reduce their usage before they are moved on to a metered bill, unless they choose to switch early and cash-in on the savings.

Danny added: “What’s in it for us? Well, the meters will be sending us accurate and up-to-date data on water use. Higher and/or unusual readings could mean that there’s a leak, so with this information we can find and repair leaks faster, and see which pipes we should be replacing first.”

Notes to editors

  • Photograph attached showing Thames Water installing a smart meter
  • Meters are currently being installed in Bexley, Greenwich, Enfield, Camden, Islington, Haringey, Lewisham and Waltham Forest
  • Due to be connected to most households by 2030, smart meter technology gives customers more control over their water use. With smart meters linked to a wireless network and data collected automatically, Customers will be able to monitor their actual use online and get accurate bills. If they don’t have access to the internet, residents will also be able to call Thames Water for an update on their water use and receive regular letters comparing their future metered bill to their current bill.
  • For further information about metering, please visit - www.thameswater.co.uk/mymeter
  • Further reducing leakage, which is already down a third since 2004, continues to be an integral part of Thames Water’s business strategy and 25% of leakage comes from customers’ pipes. Smart meters can be used to detect continual customer usage which can indicate a leak.
  • The South-East is a region described by the Environment Agency as “seriously water-stressed” and on average, customers use one third more water than they did 30 years ago. Research suggests that customers on meters use 12% less water - when people pay for what they use, they value what they pay for and tend to use less.
  • All customers on existing meters can order free water-saving gadgets and get advice on how to reduce their water and energy use at www.thameswater.co.uk/savings.