"We needed a big commercial company with the organisational back up, capability and resources to deal with a project of this size"
John Crooke, Meter Installation Manager, Southern Water
Southern Water provides water to nearly 2.5 million people and sewerage services to over 4.5 million people in South East England. Counties covered include Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The south of England is one of the driest areas in the UK and has been classed as an ‘area of serious water stress’ by Defra. Population growth, climate change and growing usage is all having an effect on the availability of this most essential of natural resources.
Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions is installing water meters on behalf of Southern Water to half a million customers across the South East between now and 2015.
The project team has faced a number of challenges, not least of which is the compulsory nature of the programme, which has placed extra emphasis on customer service and proactive communications. With so much work being carried out in direct contact with residents, bogus callers were also a concern.
Meticulous planning has been at the heart of our approach to tackling these pressures. In response to the very specific needs of this project, we have deployed a strategic approach to the way in which people, plant, communications and customer service support has been managed, with a dedicated Planning Manager and team in place and a standardised ‘journey’ developed to engage and inform customers through every step of the installation process. Close cooperation with the local police and clear Southern Water-branded vehicles have also helped to neutralise the risk of bogus callers.
With an average usage reduction of 10% per customer following the installation of a water meter, it is clear that the success of the programme will not only be good for the sustainability of the water supply in the south of England, but will also be hugely beneficial to customers.
Key facts and figures
Water meters installed by 2015
Average usage reduction by customers with a meter
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