Smart water meters measure how much water you use. They send us readings automatically using a secure network.
You’ll be able to see this information, giving you a clearer view of your water usage so you can make responsible choices for yourself, your household, and your local community.
We’re working our way through homes in Essex and Suffolk. We’ll be in touch when smart meters are coming to your area.
In most circumstances the meter will be free unless you decide you want it to be located in a different place to where we recommend in which case we may ask you to contribute to the cost of installation.
Yes. Public Health England has confirmed that smart meters do not pose a risk to health. You can read more information about smart meters in this Public Health England report.
Smart meters are vital to help us protect our water supply for future generations. They help us understand water usage across all the communities we serve, so that we can find leaks and conserve water. All water companies in the UK will be rolling out smart meters in the next 15 years.
Yes, because water companies can install meters in areas that are classified as seriously water stressed by the Environment Agency (Water stressed areas - final classification (publishing.service.gov.uk).
Water Industry Act 1991 (legislation.gov.uk) also allows water companies to install meters in households in areas with serious water stress determined by the Secretary of State (Water Industry Act 1991 (legislation.gov.uk).
This means a customer can't refuse a meter or object to the type of meter, such as our smart meters.
We aim to give all of our customers a smart meter by 2035. We'll be in touch when we're ready to install your smart meter
Unlike energy meters, our water meters are installed on a manual stop tap and these can’t be accessed remotely. Water companies, by UK law cannot disconnect your water supply.
Our Smart Water Meters are sending us leak and flow information remotely over a secure network and has no remote access from Essex & Suffolk water and the meter. The meter has no control over the actual flow or the stop tap.
Without a way to communicate, smart meters wouldn't be smart. They use radio waves to get information on water usage.
Other things use radio waves too, like the mobile phone or a computer you're probably reading this right now on, plus radios and TVs. These devices don’t communicate all the time, only when needed.
Meters comply with UK law and EU standards (Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive) and radio waves are covered in these.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), exposure to radio waves from smart meters is well below the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
Their study also found smart meters produce fewer radio waves than other everyday devices like mobile phones and Wi-Fi. UKHSA doesn't think exposure to radio waves is a reason not to have a smart meter.
We're comfortable with the safety of smart water meters because there's enough evidence that they're safe. Over two million smart water meters are already installed across the UK.
No you don’t have to pay, unless you’d like it in a different place to our recommendation.
I already have a water meter
No, unless your water usage increases.
I don’t have a meter
If you choose to stay on unmetered bills, you’ll continue to get billed in the same way. Nothing about how we bill you will change.
If you choose to move to metered bills, you’ll be charged for the water you use. We have a lowest bill guarantee in place.
I already have a water meter outside
When your meter is due to be replaced, we’ll let you know that we’re coming to upgrade it. As your meter is outside you don’t need to be at home. While our engineer is at your home, they’ll:
I already have a water meter in my home
When your meter is due to be replaced, we’ll be in touch to arrange an appointment. You’ll need to be at home, to let our engineer in - it usually takes less than an hour to upgrade your meter. While our engineer is at your property, they’ll:
I don’t have a meter
We’ll let you know when we’re coming to fit the meter. There’s no need to be at home though, so don’t worry if we miss you! While our engineer is at your property, they’ll:
There may be a small number of occasions where we’re unable to fit the meter as planned. If this is the case, we’ll leave a card explaining the next steps and options available for you.
Your smart meter will be linked to your home and within 30 days you’ll be able to track your water usage on our app. You’ll have access to all the benefits of smart metering which include:
With an improved view of your water usage, you can find great tips on how to save water and potentially lower your bills. We all use water in different ways. Knowing how much you’re using helps you make responsible choices for yourself, your household, and your community.
Hourly reads are taken and sent to us daily. We’ll update your account at least once a day, so you can see today’s readings when you log into our app tomorrow. Or yesterday’s readings if you log in today.
• Hourly reads will give you a clear view of the water usage in your home which allows you to better understand how you can save water.
• We’ll be able to find leaks in your home or our wider water network quickly.
• We have a duty of care to make sure we all use water wisely. As our population is rising, and water demand is increasing, we need to keep close watch on how much water is being used.
• Hourly reads help us build a better picture of how our communities use water to ensure we keep the taps flowing.
Yes. Personal information such as your name, address and bank details is not stored on your smart meter. The meter simply records your water usage. The data is transmitted to us using a dedicated and secure wireless network.
No. Smart meters don’t need or use Wi-Fi. We use a private and secure network.