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Save Water blog

It is always good to look back and take stock. We do it in our personal life all the time, remembering events attended and lessons learnt

I have recently been reflecting on what we have gleaned from the first two years of our five year water efficiency programme. In sharing these I will also highlight the priorities that have been pursued and where I think we can provide even more help for our customers in the future. Water Efficiency Manager Ben Earl

First: 'One size doesn’t fit all’. Our water saving home visit programme is receiving exceptionally positive feedback. Each visit is designed to provide specific water saving information, clear advice and bespoke water saving product installation for each of our customers’ homes which qualify for one. Our customers really like this personal bespoke service and we are planning new strands of support such as introducing a free fix of a leaking toilet if we find one. 

Second: there is a very close link between water saving and affordability issues. Often customers who are struggling to afford their bills are those with high water consumption. By working closely with social housing providers or local authorities we can combine the benefits of targeted water efficiency measures and the assessment of affordability – something we are already doing in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council. Look out for an expansion of this into other areas shortly.

Third: more and more evidence is building that targeting water efficiency towards specific catchments or localised areas can help to keep bills down. We recently commissioned an independent report which said just that - and we are now working on a Hampshire wide programme to set future water saving targets. Fourth: incentives can play an important role in changing customer behaviour. We know how dramatic the changes have been since the introduction of a five pence plastic bag charge was introduced across the UK. Single plastic bag use has plummeted and the race is now on to find the all important equivalent in the water industry. To test this we have introduced a community incentive to share the proceeds of water savings on a community – in this case around Cheriton to the east of Winchester. We are monitoring progress as we speak.

And Finally: Customers need to feel more connected with how much water they are using. Having installed meters for 90% of our customers we know this was just the first stage of the journey. We now need to go further and help those who want it to understand just how much each customer is using through real time displays, bespoke information and new technology – we currently have a group of boffins locked in a room to produce something truly ground breaking. Watch this space!

For the latest water efficiency information then go to www.southernwater.co.uk/savewater. To get in touch do e-mail us as waterefficiencyteam@southernwater.co.uk

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