Chelmsford ecoBETA Retrofit Project (2007)

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Executive Summary

Essex & Suffolk Water (ESW) wants to encourage its domestic customers to be more water efficient. As part of ESWs long term water efficiency programme this project aimed to increase their reputation while highlighting the environmental responsibility we all face to help reduce waste and to help defer water resource development. Mouchel Parkman (MP) was commissioned to undertake the Chelmsford ecoBETA project within Chelmsford, Essex. The project presented involved mailing customers to invite them to have a toilet dual flush retrofit device called ecoBETA installed. Customers also received a home water audit pack to help review their water use and encourage them to stop bad habits and adopt new water saving practices. The mail shot to customers was delivered in 2 batches between the 26 – 30 March and 29 May – 1 June 2007.

To store the large volumes of data generated by the project a bespoke database was constructed. Extracts of the ESWs customer database, customer contact details, including customer survey forms were all stored in the project database. Additionally, the database was used for scheduling of appointments to deliver and fit the selected devices, recording which items they received, the collation of meter read data and for producing daily work schedules for the Plumbers visiting the customer‟s homes. The database was based upon the 2006 Water Saving Toolkit project database but with upgrades and improvements made to improve functionality and usability.

Of the 4,866 customers who were mailed, 910 customers applied to take part, representing a take-up rate of 18.7%. There were 1,012 ecoBETA devices installed in 555 properties between 17 April and the 7 July 2007. 187 customers completed and returned their home water audit form. Meter reading data was collected from those properties that had an externally accessible water meter, and 56 flow loggers were installed to collect detailed water use information.

The project resulted in each participating property saving on average 31.38 l/prop/day. This equates to a total saving of 0.017Ml/yr for the project study area.