South West Water commits to no price rises until 2015
South West Water has pledged to freeze water bills for all its customers until April 2015, affecting around 800,000 households and business users. The Exeter-based firm has become the first in the UK to put a hold on prices, after MPs called for water companies to do more to help their customers with the rising cost of water bills.
How to look after your pipes this winter
Now that the there’s a definite chill in the air, it’s time to start taking precautions against the cold weather - and we don’t just mean wearing an extra jumper. Freezing temperatures outside can also play havoc with your home’s plumbing, and the effects of a leaky or burst pipe can be hugely expensive and damaging to your property.
Government calls for action on water bills
Rising utility costs have prompted the government to promise action on water bills, after Downing Street promised to find out whether the current market is “delivering for consumers”. While it’s possible to switch gas or electricity suppliers, water is one utility consumers have very little control over: you’re tied to the company that serves your area, meaning water companies need to be carefully scrutinised to ensure they are not abusing what is effectively a regional monopoly.
Sainsbury's at Weymouth Gateway goes water-neutral
A Sainsbury’s supermarket at Weymouth Gateway has become completely water-neutral, meaning it meets all its own water needs. According to the company, the self-sufficient store employs water-efficient infrastructure and rainwater harvesting for 70 per cent of the water it uses, while the remaining 30 per cent - which must be drinking water - will be offset by sponsoring water-saving initiatives with partners in the local community.
Thames Water to install smart meters in all customers' homes by 2030
Thames Water has announced ambitious new plans to install ‘smart’ water meters in every one of its customers’ homes by 2030. Currently just under a third of the company’s customers are using the technology, which gives more accurate readings for billing and helps people to use less water - often saving them money and reducing strain on the environment.
Fuel cell farms: grow food as you drive?
Scientists just keep coming up with smarter ways to use water. This month, London’s Design Museum hosted the first exhibition of a truly innovative collaboration between carmaker Hyundai and sustainable design firm Something & Son: a fuel cell car that serves as the engine driving a miniature farm.
Glasgow to turn leaky Underground into efficient heat source
We’re always glad to see water being used smartly here at Harvey Water Softeners, and the latest plans for the Glasgow Underground are a great example of that. The city’s underground train system could soon be heated by the same water that leaks into its tunnels, helping to reduce water waste and improve the efficiency of the heating system. Under the two-year scheme, heat pumps will be used to draw warm water from the soil around the subway tunnels, which would be used to keep the stations - and even nearby buildings - nice and warm for commuters.
Water 2.0 - The gadgets that change the way you use water
Every day it seems like something new becomes “smart” or has a lowercase “i” prefixed to it, which somehow means it’s joined the switched-on, digitally-connected world. Well, water’s no exception - so here’s a few of the gadgets you can use to enjoy a smart cup of tea or an iDrink of water…