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  • by Trevor Loveday

"Pioneering" water efficiency incentive scheme gets developers' thumbs up

Developers have described United Utilities’ £523-a plot incentive programme to encourage house builders to include sustainable water and drainage measures as a “stark contrast” to other areas where there was “a lack of forward planning.”

United Utilities’ has claimed its scheme of reduced charges for developers has created potential for saving 3.8 million litres of water a day in new housing, the water firm has claimed.

United Utilities has, since 2018, offered a 90% reduction in charges to developers who include, in their projects, measures with the capacity to reduce water usage to 100 litres per person per day. I is also reducing charges to developers that do not connect surface water drains to existing sewers.

The company said more than 86,000 plots have registered for the drinking water scheme, picking up savings of £25m with more than 58,000 plots signed up to the sustainable drainage agreement saving more than £19m.

Technical director for the Home Builders Federation (HBF), Kieran Walker, described United Utilities’ approach “pioneering” adding was in “stark contrast to other areas of the country where slowdowns in housing delivery have been encountered, due to a lack of forward planning in relation to water abstraction.”

Strategy and compliance manager at United Utilities, Graham Morley, said the company was considering other incentives for a number of measures including rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, smart water butts and infiltration of surface water drainage to the ground. “We’re also trialling whole-home water flow regulators with some of our own employees,” Morley said.


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