Meter study reveals big cut in usage

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SOUTHERN Water says households are saving thousands of litres of water, thanks to its pioneering metering programme.

Figures have been released as the five-year programme nears completion, meaning nearly 500,000 meters have been installed.

Overall, customers are using, on average, 16.5 per cent less water – a far bigger difference than the national average of ten per cent.

In Shoreham, for example, 250,000 litres of water are being saved each day, enough water to provide daily baths for more than 3,000 people.

The findings are revealed in a study published by Dr Carmine Ornaghi and Dr Mirco Tonin, economists at the University of Southampton

Dr Tonin said: “What is remarkable is that households start changing their behaviour as soon as the meter is installed, despite the fact that for three months they have no financial incentives to do so, as there has not yet been any switch of contract.”

Susan Stockwell, Southern Water’s chief customer officer, said: “Saving water helps protect our environment and secures future water resources. In most cases it also results in lower bills for customers. So far, 62 per cent of households have seen their bills reduce by an average of £12 a month.”