Anglian Water’s smart meters save millions of litres of water for the environment and millions off bills for customers
30 May 2023
Anglian Water’s upgraded metering programme is forecasted to save the environment seven million litres of precious water between 2020 to 2025 by helping spot and resolve leaks in customers’ homes and even more by encouraging behaviour change in how people use water.
The water company’s largest ever smart water metering installation programme is already helping customers better understand their water usage, plus detecting leaks quicker both on the customer side and across its network, in a bid to save this precious resource and money off bills.
The programme has also saved Anglian Water customers approximately £15 million off annual water bills, last year alone, which equates to an average of £251.97 per customer.
Since the first meters were installed in 2020, Anglian Water has helped customers find and resolve more than 100,000 leaks at their properties.
As well as helping finding and fixing customer-side leaks, Anglian Water continues to plough more resources into finding and fixing leaks in its vast network that could stretch to Sydney and back if put end to end, using innovative techniques and a bigger team than ever before, driving down leakage rates to industry leading low levels and half as many leaks as any other water company per kilometre of water main.
In addition to the millions of pounds worth of savings on water bills, by detecting leaks in customers’ homes sooner, the smart meters have also saved customers from a potentially costly clean up from water damage to their homes and belongings from leaks that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Anglian Water customer, Vicki Sloan, was very grateful after a letter from Anglian Water prompted her to check her home for leaks.
The Peterborough resident was contacted by Anglian Water in July 2022 after her meter readings were showing her water usage had significantly increased and suggested she checked for leaks within her property.
Vicki said: “After receiving the letter from Anglian Water I got in touch with my plumbing insurance company straight away. The plumber really struggled to find the leak at first.
While Vicki’s leak was being investigated, Anglian Water fitted her home with a smart meter as the programme was being rolled out in her area at the time. This helped to show how much water the household was using on a daily and hourly basis but also helped to confirm that the leak had to be coming from a pipe within her home validating the need for further investigation.
Vicki continued: “Because of the smart meter, we were able to find and fix the leak and it also now helps me keep my water usage on track, saving me even more money. I was in constant contact with Anglian Water customer services team – they were fantastic at providing me with advice and support. The leak meant my direct debit payments would have increased from £49 to £137 a month, but Anglian Water offered to keep my payments at the original amount as I had reported the leak to them. They even gave me a leakage allowance and reduced my monthly payments down to £43 a month as the leak was found to have been going on for a while.”
Ian Rule, Director of Water for Anglian Water said: “Through our smart meter programme, we’re helping our customers to understand their water usage and help spot when pipes or appliances in their home may be costing them and the environment unnecessarily.”
“As the driest region of the country, most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and with the fastest growing population, we’re planning now for a future with more people and fewer raindrops. We invest heavily into resilient infrastructure and continue to drive leakage in our networks down to industry leading low levels. But we all play a part in using water more sustainably, to keep as much water in the environment as possible, and we recognise our role in helping our customers to use less and save more too.
“So far, we’ve fitted more than half a million smart meters in customers’ homes and we’re already starting to see significant reductions in the amount of water we need to abstract from the environment as our customers use their smart meter data to reduce their water usage. This is really helping to protect our regions precious rivers and the ecosystems that depend upon them.”
On average, the East of England is the driest in the UK receiving a third less rainfall than anywhere else in the country, meaning future water scarcity is the most significant challenge the company faces. Helping customers use less water, not only helps saves them money off their bills, but also forms a substantial part of Anglian’s Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP).
The upgraded metering programme is just one part of this plan to protect future water resources, alongside tackling leakage, proposals for two new reservoirs and the installation of a huge new strategic water mains longer than the M6 that will bring water from the wettest parts in the north to the driest parts in the south and east.
Anglian Water aims to install 1.1million new upgraded water meters in homes and businesses across the region by 2025 as part of a five-year project costing more than £180 million, with a further 1.2million to be installed between 2025-2030.
Current locations being upgraded to the new smart meter are the most water stressed and fastest growing parts of Anglian Water’s region including areas in Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Essex and Lincolnshire. Teams are working around the clock to install and activate the meters and with very little disruption for most customers as meters are typically located outside the home.
For further information about the smart meter upgrade programme visit here where customers can also use the postcode checker to find out when Anglian Water plan to upgrade meters in their area.
Other ways customers can help save water (and money): - Now is the perfect time to fill up those water butts - Buy drought resilient plants for the garden this year that don’t require regular watering - Take part in Anglian Water's shorter shower challenge