Water metering in Udimore

Southern Water’s installation programme

Information provided by Souther Water November 2013:

Water resources in the South East are under pressure and our region is classified as one of ‘serious water stress’ by the Government.

We are introducing metering as households on a water meter tend to use 10 per cent less. Together with the majority of our customers, we also believe that households paying for the water they use is the fairest way to charge. In addition, it puts our customers in control of their bills.

Udimore meter installations are scheduled for March 2014

The new meters we are installing are ‘intelligent’ and are equipped with leak alarms which will help us, as a company, detect leaks on supply pipes and inside properties, as well as on our own mains network. Since the metering programme began in late 2010, more than 250,000 meters have been installed across Southern Water’s area of operation.

How the programme works

Southern Water will contact customers before their meters are fitted. Installation is free and in most cases the meter will be fitted in the public footpath outside a property so there is no need to enter customers’ homes. Customers will be provided with lots of written information about their meter and metered bill, as well as easy ways in which they can save water, energy and money. Our installation teams will work on a road-by-road basis and when they are in an area, customers will have the opportunity to talk to Southern Water’s advisors directly.

Keeping bills affordable

Using a phased approach, we are switching customers with new meters onto metered charges around 3 months after their meter is installed. Working closely with the water industry regulator, Ofwat, and our customers, we have developed a range of tariffs to give people time to adapt to metered charges and make sure that water bills remain affordable for everyone:

Changeover tariff – any increase in a customer’s bills will be phased in gradually over three years to give people time to adjust to their metered charges and understand how to manage their water use and bills.

Support tariff – we have introduced this tariff to help customers whose bills go up on a water meter and who have genuine difficulty in paying.

We have identified around 108,000 customers across our service area to whom we are offering additional assistance with their water meter and bills, including the offer of free water and energy use checks (Home Saver Check) and more information on the tariffs and support available. We look to contact these customers directly when installing their water meters.

How customers can find out more

Customers will have the chance to talk face-to-face to an advisor around the time of their meter being installed.

They can also call our Metering Customer Contact Centre on 0333 2003 013 to find out more.

Detailed information about our metering programme is available on our dedicated website at: www.southernwater.co.uk/metering.