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Smart meters

Our region is one of the largest, fastest growing and driest areas in the UK. Since privatisation in 1989, we’ve been installing water meters to help manage demand and look after this most precious resource. As a result more than 80% of you now pay on a meter.


Through new technology water meters can now monitor household usage, hour by hour. We have been exploring how you can benefit from these new products.


Smart metering trials

In 2017 we trialed smart water meters in Newmarket. Within a year, customers had reduced their water consumption by 7%. Traditional meters are read only once or twice a year. Smart meters take hourly reads which allowed us to compare personal usage between similar homes and alert customers to an extended period of constant water use – perhaps due to a leaky loo, tap or underground customer supply pipe.

We also started a similar trial in Norwich in 2018 and early results are promising.

Such was their success as part of our 2020-25 Business Plan we’ve recommended to Ofwat to roll out smart meters to all customers across our region.

Smart meters will:
  • help you better understand when and where you use the most water
  • help us spot what might be a leak on your side, so that you can make a repair sooner and save money
  • give you peace of mind that that we will be in touch if we think you may have developed a leak
  • warn  early  if your  water bill is higher than normal, putting you in control of your household usage
  • be able to compare water usage to similar homes in your area.
New smart meters enable us to:
  • find and fix water pipe bursts and leaks more quickly on our network
  • more accurately forecast and plan a town’s water demand
  • increase our understanding of your water use, ensuring that whatever the future weather brings, we keep the taps flowing
  • improve our customer service; not only by finding and fixing leaks more quickly, but by alerting you to a leak on your private pipework and warning early if your bill might be higher than usual
  • find and fix or replace faulty water meters quicker
  • make fewer visits to physically read meters, saving carbon, time and money which can be invested elsewhere.

If you live in Norwich or Newmarket find out here if you’ve had a smart meter fitted.

Colchester trial

In 2013, we trialed what were the latest smart meters in Colchester, taking readings from around 50% of the town’s homes via a weekly drive-by from the Council’s bin lorries. This method does not feature in our long term plans and we hope to upgrade these to the newest generation of meters (providing hourly data) by 2025. 

For tips on how to make small changes to save water and money visit our ‘My Use’ portal.