WATER meters will be installed in 90 per cent of homes in the next nine years.
Most South East Water customers in Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey will have meters installed. But while the programme is due to start in July 2011, it will not reach Eastbourne until 2018.
This work is driven by Environment Agency classification of the wider South East as being an area of serious water stress.
Customers will be told well in advance of metering coming to their area. Paul Seeley, asset director at South East Water, said, “The effects of climate change, combined with warmer and drier years and the projected population growth in the region, will only increase the pressure on the available water in our rivers and underground sources.
“It is our responsibility as the supplier of drinking water to 2.1 million people to pro actively manage the demand for water, tackle leakage, and improve existing or deliver new water resources.
“Some 45 per cent of our customers are already on a meter and many have seen the benefits of lower bills.
“By moving to a meter, customers will ultimately have complete control over their water usage .And, if they use water wisely and don’t waste it, they could also see their water bills reduce.”