The UK-wide roll out of household meters is helping to positively influence public perceptions of water companies, according to research commissioned by Talis UK.
The study of attitudes towards water companies, Reputation and Water Report*, found that households where a water meter had already been fitted were more likely to give their water company a positive score for the quality of service, value for money and fairness.
The highest difference was for value for money, with a 44% increase in households giving their water company a positive score.
Mark Hodgens, managing director of Talis UK, said: “For many households water can almost seem like an ‘invisible utility’, with people taking their water company for granted until something goes wrong.
“It seems that one of the unintended consequences of water meters has been to increase understanding and awareness of the role water companies play in providing a reliable source of high quality water as well as waste removal.”
However, public attitude to water meters themselves is still split as to whether they will ultimately improve or worsen the service received.
Respondents in the study were more likely to think that water meters would worsen services (34%) but an almost equal number believed they were a positive change (32%).
Mark Hodgens, comments: “The split in attitudes highlights the fear of water meters amongst those yet to be switched over by their supplier. More needs to be done to highlight the positive changes that water meters deliver in order to reduce this fear factor.”
The study also highlights how other changes to the water sector are receiving a positive response from the public. Efforts to reduce water wastage, price caps and greater support for those struggling to pay bills all met with the approval of the majority of respondents who believed these measures are improving water services.
For more information, visit www.talis-uk.com