London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 18, 2006 – A new study by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) shows that water companies only spend 11 pence (US20 cents) per customer per year to help households reduce the amount of water they use.

Water companies have strict targets to reduce leaks but they do not have similar incentives to improve water efficiency in homes. ippr’s report recommends that the government introduce a Water Efficiency Commitment, similar to the Energy Efficiency Commitment which sets a legal obligation on energy suppliers to improve household energy efficiency.

ippr also recommends that there needs to be an acceleration of water metering, particularly in areas prone to droughts. The institute says that paying for water according to how much you use provides customers with a more visible incentive to conserve water than the flat rate system. But it argues that with higher rates of water metering the government would need to provide safeguards to support low income and vulnerable households

In England and Wales, 28 per cent of domestic customers are metered. From the available evidence, based on utility Folkestone and Dover’s application for water scarcity status in March 2006, 70 per cent of customers would pay the same or less and 30 per cent would pay more under a compulsory metering scheme.