Saving at least ten per cent of water by introducing universal metering is crucial if the area is to have enough water in the next 20 years.
A representative from Worthing-based utility company Southern Water briefed Horsham District Council’s social inclusion working group on Monday July 30, briefing members on how changes would affect families.
The split of those better and worse off would be around 50/50, but members were told that those who needed financial assistance could be put on a support tariff.
Jo Fielding-Cooke, customer engagement manager for Southern Water’s metering programme, said: “By 2015 saving this water takes us up to the water levels we will need by 2030 for existing household numbers.”
She added: “For us it is all about the customers. We want to take them with us on this journey.”
They have water-metered 90 per cent of Horsham district, a water stress area, and plan to finish the rest in the autumn.
Ms Fielding-Cooke explained that customers would not get their first metered bill until nine months after installation.
For their first year their bill would be two-thirds un-metered and a third metered, then a third un-metered and two-thirds metered for the second year, before switching to fully metered.
She said she knew of only four examples in more than two years where customers said they did not want meters.
Godfrey Newman (LDem, Forest), pointed out that those on a high-rateable value property with few occupants would benefit from changes, while the low rateable-value households with high occupancy would be adversely affected, but councillors did praise the steps taken in engaging Southern Water’s customers.
For more information visit www.southernwater.co.uk/metering