Big benefits from looking closer at business water use

Date: February 1, 2021.


Businesses and other organisations may not realise the benefits they can get from taking regular meter readings for their water use.


Water bills for all businesses with meters are based on estimated use, without a recent meter read for a site. Collecting and providing a meter reading each month to your water retailer helps keep your bill amounts updated – with lower costs where less water is used. It also allows your business to spot water issues on-site early, like a leak.

Under current industry regulations, all charges for water and wastewater services, including fixed charges, apply as normal, and water retailers will bill businesses for these, whether sites are open or closed.

Businesses have benefited from noting meter reads to update their account:

Jill Thorpe, Operations Director at water retailer Water Plus, said: Whilst it’s important to take a meter reading each month, if it’s safe to, it’s even more important during this year, particularly if you have less people at your site or you have buildings that are closed due to restrictions. A burst pipe on-site can lead to the loss of as much as 1,000 litres an hour, which could cost £26,000 a year, if left unattended. These bursts can also lead to damage and interruptions to supply, so keeping a look-out for leaks at business sites is worth doing. 

“Business owners and bill-payers are responsible for the cost of water supplied to a site, so it’s good to take and provide regular meter readings, if you don’t already – at least once a month - if it’s safe to access, to help reduce financial pressures."

Here’s what to keep in mind during 2021, to help protect your business from additional avoidable costs:

  1. Locate your site’s stop taps – and check they’re working, so you can isolate a burst pipe - or water issue - quickly.

  2. Insulate your water pipework, where needed, ahead of colder weather – to reduce the chance of a burst pipe on-site - which could mean your operation grinding to a halt and having to close if you’re open.

  3. Make checks on your site regularly – even if it’s closed – and look out for leaks – it’s worth encouraging employees, or security staff, to report leaks as well as dripping taps and constantly running urinals as these can waste hundreds of litres of water a day.

  4. Have you got a water emergency plan for your site/s? Knowing what to do and where you can get water, if it stopped suddenly, is essential to limit the impact on your operation.

Find out further information on what to keep in mind for your business site.

See details on the support available and charges for water and wastewater in the industry in our advice page. 

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