In 2019 the UK Government carried out a consultation on measures to reduce personal water consumption. It then laid out its 25 Year Environment Plan. This included targets to meet future demand for water as well as a target for water companies to reduce leakage by 16% by 2025 and measures for supporting businesses to reduce their water consumption. In July 2021 the Environment Secretary announced additional water measures designed to help households across England use water more efficiently.
The new proposals were announced in response to a public consultation on personal water usage and address the growing demand on national supplies with the ambitions set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan to achieve clean and plentiful water. The water industry collects, treats and supplies more than 16 billion litres of water every day for domestic and commercial customers across the UK. The Environment Agency estimates per capita consumption to be around 150 litres per day.
The new proposals designed to reduce personal water usage include:
- Introducing mandatory water efficiency labels for products such as dishwashers and showers to help people make informed choices about how they can save water without having to make significant changes to their daily lives.
- Asking water companies to develop a consistent approach to fixing supply pipe leakage. Over the last 10 years around 25% of total leakage has been from customer supply pipes.
- Encouraging local authorities to adopt a tighter standard of 110 litres per person per day, compared with the current standard of 125 litres in all new builds where there is a clear local need.
- In 2022, developing a roadmap towards greater water efficiency in new developments and through retrofits, including revised regulations and options such as rainwater harvesting, water re-use and storage options.
The Government’s new proposals have been laid out to ensure the resilience of the country’s water supplies. They demand that a water-saving culture must be developed throughout England. This is something that is also reflected in the Energy Saving Trust’s At Home with Water Report. It states that to meet the Government’s ambitions “water efficiency must become embedded across all activities throughout everybody’s lives – wasting water should be seen as going against the norm.”
The report suggests that consistent and co-ordinated messages are important for effective communication and vital to developing a water-saving culture across the country. It goes on to state, “But, there is a lack of consistent messaging and little co-ordinated joint action between water companies. Water saving messages are often only communicated at times of dry weather or drought, when water resources are already stretched. In most of England drought is seen as an exceptional occurrence and there is little awareness of pressure on water resources. There is a need for consistent messaging all year round that helps people to understand the issues of water availability in England and how to save water.”
How Advizzo can help
For the last six years, Advizzo has been working with water companies across the globe, proving that our behavioural science based customer engagement programmes can achieve water use efficiency targets.
The findings of a recent assessment of customers engaged in Advizzo’s Customer Engagement Programmes, demonstrate that providing utility customers with personalised water or energy saving tips and advice on how to reduce water and energy consumption, motivates behavioural changes that can produce water and energy savings of up to 3% a year.
Our Engagement Programmes are based on the tried and tested nudge theory – a behavioural science based technique that works by encouraging people to choose one option over another simply by making it easier for them, without removing the element of choice. Discover how the nudge theory can help you improve your customers’ water use efficiency.
We can support water companies across the UK to meet the new measures proposed by the Environment Secretary in July last year. We can help you to:
- Use data from water meters to identify excess water usage that might be attributable to leaks
- Encourage customers to change behaviours and habits to reduce their water consumption
- Provide useful tips and advice on water saving products and devices that are appropriate to individual households We will use data and information provided through our home reports to target the right customers with the right messages – according to whether they have a garden, what water consuming appliances they use in the home, what their household income/budgets might be etc.
We are currently working with a number of water companies in England to help them reduce their customer consumption and improve their customer engagement. As an example, find out how we’re working with Yorkshire Water.
How will you help your customers to reduce their water consumption? And how will you identify domestic water leaks? We’d love to help you. Get in touch to find out how our Customer Engagement Programmes can help you meet the Government’s latest water reduction measures!