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Smart meter roll out in bid to cut water usage and bills

31/03/2017

Meter roll out in bid to cut water usage and bills

  • 250 new Smart meters being installed in Cardiff
  • 3,000 Smart meters to be rolled out in the next six months
  • Customers and company will be able to monitor water usage and detect problems such as leaks

Water meters that give customers updates on how they are using water and could help cut their bills are being rolled out in a pilot project in Cardiff.

Welsh Water is installing 250 new digital “smart” meters in Grangetown, Cardiff – with plans for another 3,000 to be fitted over the next three months – as part of an EU-funded water usage project involving partners from across Europe.

The not-for-profit company is rolling out the meters so customers can see how much water they are using and detect any problems, such as leaks, earlier.

The meters will measure water usage wirelessly at selected properties in Cardiff, sending information back to the customers every hour so that they can monitor how much they are using, see peak usage times and help manage their household utility costs. The information also gets sent back to Welsh Water who will be able to detect if any leaks or bursts have occurred at the property and get the leak repaired much more quickly, reducing wastage and saving customers money.

Andy Blackhall, Water Demand Manager at Welsh Water said:  “In our recent customer engagement surveys, customers have informed us that they would like to see us trialling new and innovative ways to help reduce the demand for water, and to help customers manage their bills. 

“We will use the results of the trial to help inform our future long-term business planning activity, and ensure we understand fully the costs and benefits of delivering a world-class service to our customers.

“All customers in the Grangetown trial will be offered a free water efficiency and usage survey, along with installation of free water saving products, such as a water butt or more efficient shower head where required.”

The smart meter trial is part of a wider EU funded project called the WISDOM project.

William Dungey is one of the customers receiving the new water meter. He said: “It will be useful for me to keep an eye on how much I’m spending on my water bills. It will make me think about how much water I use or how much I waste on things like washing the car and the driveway and watering the garden.”

The new smart metres will be the latest innovation used by Welsh Water in a bid to reduce costs and keep customers’ bills low. Last year the not-for-profit company invested £7.2 million in innovation projects that have improved services for customers and enabled them to continue to protect the environment.

Reducing wastage is one of the companies top priorities with leakage rates halved since the early 1990s from 400 megalitres per day (Ml/d) to around 180 Ml/d. Welsh Water find and fix around 26,000 leaks a year and their performance is now among the best in the industry.

The WISDOM project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.