Thames Water is to offer discounted benefits to developers who build water efficient homes. The company says that by committing to water neutrality developers could potentially save up to £1,800 per property on their connection costs. The scheme has been welcomed by charity Waterwise.
The scheme offers a three-stage discount on new connection charges to developers who install water efficient devices, introduce rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling and achieve water neutrality.
Thames Water’s Head of Demand Management, Andrew Tucker, said: “To keep taps running for future generations and to protect sensitive rivers and chalk streams we need to reduce the amount of water we all use. This includes us fixing more leaks but also people using less water in their daily lives.
“Building homes that meet high water efficiency standards is an important step in the right direction and we hope our water efficiency scheme will inspire developers to put water higher up on their planning and design agendas. It aims to help developers introduce alternative water supply technologies and offset their new water demand by making the surrounding existing homes become more water efficient. We can work together to make new homes become water neutral and help reduce existing customers’ bill at the same time.”
Waterwise Managing Director, Nicci Russell, said: “This is a fantastic scheme and I urge developers to take Thames Water up on it – these discounts mean new houses waste less water and cost less to build.
“We’ve known for a while how scarce water is right across the UK, and recent data shows the gap between how well we’re doing on water efficiency, and how much we need to do, is getting bigger, not smaller. We’re all going to have to recalibrate how we use water in our everyday lives within our lifetimes, to make sure the water we do have goes as far as it needs to for people and the environment and moving into homes which have water-efficient devices built in is a really helpful start. Knowing what we know about water scarcity and social justice we really should not be building homes that waste water. Bravo Thames Water – Developers, it’s on you now to step up.”