WRc hosts successful national conference on 'Future of Domestic Metering'

The event was well attended by all the major water utilities and regulators such as OFWAT, the UK environment agency, and by consumer groups. A comprehensive look was taken at all aspects of metering, including a contentious disconnection ban...

SWINDON, United Kingdom, July 14, 2005 -- July 12th saw The WRc Group successfully host a "National Conference on the Future of Domestic Water Metering" at the De Vere Hotel, Swindon.

The event was well attended by all the major water utilities and regulators such as OFWAT, the UK environment agency, and by consumer groups. A comprehensive look was taken at all aspects of metering from the customers viewpoint including expansion as well as the more contentious issues of the disconnection ban, the specific impacts of metering on managing household demand and the potential changes in customer relationship management that a pro-metering policy will have.

Maurice Terry, chairman of WaterVoice Council, spoke about the long term objective of universal metering and the principles of ensuring fairness in metered charging for water along with the key customer issues. His key message was that the country needed to take an approach to metering that reflected regional and local issues, and one that has customer support.

Conference chairman John Batty summed up the issues involved in his opening remarks, "Domestic water metering is a diverse and fascinating subject. It touches on so many of the key political and moral questions in society; it encompasses economics, technology, sociology and philosophy; it revolves around issues such as affordability, vulnerability, sustainability, revenue-neutrality, reliability, universality and choice."

"The conference has only scratched the surface of the important issues likely to affect the water industry and the way we pay for water in this country. Most important has been the opportunity the conference has provided to bring together delegates whose interest in metering comes from a wide range of different perspectives" adds Conference organizer Simon Gordon-Walker, of WRc.

All organizations, government, regulators, customer groups and water companies are thinking hard about the future. What is important is working together to shape this strategy and ensuring that it will be based on good information about all the complex issues.

Visit the websites www.wrcplc.co.uk and www.wrcnsf.com, as well as www.waterportfolio.com for more information on collaborative research projects.

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