With a drought expected this summer and many homes lacking basic energy efficiency measures, Britain’s biggest gas and water utilities will pair up next month to help their customers save money by using water and energy more wisely.
Under the agreement which will extend over the next five years, Thames Water and British Gas will work together to promote energy-saving and water-saving products - including solar panels, heat pumps, energy-efficient boilers, shower savers and dual-flush toilets to Thames Water customers.
As a first step in the partnership, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, British Gas will be offering Thames Water’s water customers free loft and cavity wall insulation which can save them hundreds of pounds off their annual energy bills.
Explanatory information is set to land on 2.3 million doormats across London and the Thames Valley from next month.
While British Gas installers are in Thames Water customers' homes fitting insulation, they will also offer to fit water-saving devices to help people save even more money and use less water.
By working together, both utilities believe they can benefit their customers while taking steps to achieve their own business goals. Having had below-average rainfall for 17 of the past 22 months in the South East, the water firm wants customers to use less of its product. Meanwhile British Gas has the opportunity to promote its energy efficiency products to a new customer base.
British Gas will also be able to check if Thames Water customers could save money by switching their energy supply to British Gas. The energy supplier has the cheapest standard electricity, on average, of any major supplier, after it cut electricity prices by 5 per cent earlier this month.
Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of Electrical & Dyno Services at British Gas, said:
“We know that household budgets are stretched at the moment which is why energy efficiency can make such a vital difference. Loft insulation and cavity wall insulation can save hundreds of pounds each year off household energy bills. And we are installing it in homes for free. This is just a first step in this partnership and we are excited about offering a range of energy and water saving products to customers in London and the Thames Valley.”
Piers Clark, Commercial Director for Thames Water, said:
“About a third of all the energy we use in our homes goes on heating water, so if we save water we save money off two utility bills, not to mention burning less carbon. It is this crucial overlap between energy and water efficiency that the partnership will help address. Having had below-average rainfall for 16 of the past 21 months and with the prospect of a drought later this year, saving water is a must right now.”
David Bland of the Consumer Council for Water said:
"It is refreshing to see two big utilities working together to benefit their customers and the environment. The link between energy and water is one that we all need to be mindful of, particularly with water in short supply in the Southeast this year and with energy prices not set to go downwards over the long term. For instance, often water in homes is heated up only to cool down then be re-heated again - a problem that can be addressed simply enough with a combination boiler."
For further information, please contact:
ThamesWater: Simon Evans - Simon.Evans@thameswater.co.uk/ 07747 644 364
British Gas: Elliott Grady - firstname.lastname@example.org/ 0800 107 7015 / 07789 579114
Notes to Editors
1. Thames Water customers interested in signing up to the free loft and cavity wall insulation offer should call 0800 107 0899. Customers can call and pre-register their interest now.
2. According to the Energy Saving Trust, loft insulation can save homes £175 a year from the energy bills and cavity wall insulation can save £135 a year.