Thames Water launches cashback scheme to incentivise water savings

Trafalgar Square. London ranks as one of the most water-stressed cities in the world

As part of a pilot programme that will run until March 2020, Thames Water will offer financial incentives for businesses to reduce water consumption and deliver savings for customers across the city.

Thames Water will reward in-region retailers 5p per litre of water saved daily for each non-household customer. Savings will be measured and verified by comparing three months of meter data before and after any water saving measures are introduced.

“The business market is all about saving customers time, money and water,” Thames Water’s market development manager Gerard Lyden, said. “We know retailers have a wide range of service offerings and opportunities to engage with their customers, which could lead to great new ideas and actions to save water – something we really need in our supply area.

“We’ve developed our innovative, financial incentive scheme to help stimulate retailers to look for more ways to help their customers to save water and get rewarded with a payment when they do.”  

Stressful savings

The financial incentives will aim to combat water scarcity in London. Currently, the city ranks as one of the most water-stressed cities in the world.

Thames Water estimates that an additional 2.1 million people will move into its operating region within the next 25 years. Due to the impact of climate change, the company has predicted that there will be a shortfall of 350 million litres of water each day for what is needed by 2045. Thames Water anticipates that this figure will reach 650 million litres a day by 2100.

The company is attempting to reduce demand for water in the region by enabling better management through meters. The firm is also fixing around 1,500 leaks a week and offers in-home advice to reduce consumption as well as offering water-saving innovations like certain shower heads. However, Thames Water was ordered to pay a £2m fine by the Environment Agency (EA) in January 2019, after raw sewage from one of its pumping stations was found to have leaked into Oxfordshire’s waterways.

Last year, Thames Water signed a £1.4bn five-year revolving credit facility (RCF), with the interest rate linked to annual performance against sustainability indicators. The firm was among a group of nine of the UK’s water companies which have joined together to create a set of “shared principles” to improve the health of the environment.

Matt Mace

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