Articles & Case Studies

Elster helps Anglian Water to reduce its carbon footprint

Posted: Tuesday 20th November 2012

Anglian Water is one of the leading operators of water and wastewater services in the UK, supplying more than six million domestic and business customers in the east of England. This region is predominantly low-lying, rural and one of the driest in the UK, receiving only around 600 millimetres of rainfall per annum. The region has been assessed by the UK’s Environment Agency as one of ‘serious water stress’.

In response, it has set ten goals backed by more than 100 commitments and measures – the climate change charter – under which it aims to:

· become the most water-efficient region in the UK

· be innovative and develop more sustainable ways of working

· encourage employees and customers to take action on climate change

· embed climate change mitigation and adaptation into decision-making processes

Mitigating and adapting to climate change

Anglian Water’s goal is to deliver a reliable supply of clean, safe drinking water and effective wastewater services at an affordable price. Anglian Water’s strategic plan up to 2035 pledges approximately £1 billion of investment for adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. Alongside the significant commitment it has made in the climate change charter, extending domestic metering has been a major means by which Anglian Water has managed customer demand for water. More than 65 per cent of supplies to residential households are currently metered. By 2035, it aims to have all water supplies to customer properties metered, except where not practical.

Working in partnership

Elster has been supplying domestic meters to Anglian Water since it was privatised in 1989. To date, most have been manually-read meters that are typically installed within the customer’s premises or externally in a boundary box. More recently, Anglian Water elected Elster to supply up to 300,000 V210 volumetric polymer water meters for all new-build, replacement and refurbishment projects. These polymer meters have a plastic body and have been developed by Elster to significantly reduce their environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

According to an independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Elster’s polymer water meters have a carbon footprint of approximately one-third of their older brass-body counterparts. They also comply with the latest EU and other regional standards and are the first polymer water meters to achieve compliance with the UK Water Industry Specification (WIS) 4-32-19. This makes them suitable for all installations – including land which may be contaminated or at risk of future contamination. In addition, over 98 per cent of the polymer meter can be recycled into Grade 3 plastic products for building, gardening and agricultural uses.

“We work closely with suppliers to not only get the best value, but also to help achieve joint goals such as reducing carbon footprints,” says Simon Davies Supply Chain Professional for Anglian Water. “With world-class design and manufacturing facilities based in the UK, we can see major benefits in being able to work with Elster. We can influence them in terms of designing products to meet our future needs and Elster can support us with a high volume supply of water meters,” says Paul Glass, project manager for Anglian Water.

The long-term relationship between Elster and Anglian Water has delivered a variety of tailored metering solutions. These include unique low-weight packaging, a checking digit system that links the meter being installed to the customer account, the change of the colour of the seal on the polymer meters to blue making it easy to check the seal’s integrity in dark environments.

Delivering benefits across the supply chain

Working closely with Elster has enabled Anglian Water to lower its carbon footprint throughout the supply chain. With Anglian Water's focus on reducing embodied carbon for example, Elster calculates that there was a saving of over 500 tonnes of embedded carbon throughout the supply chain in 2011.

“A large contributor to this improvement is the halving of product weight, dramatically reducing carbon emissions during transport and the reduction in manufacturing energy use by investment in state-of-the-art energy efficient equipment,” states Perry Shead, Marketing and Communications Manager for BU Water International at Elster. “Working closely in long term partnerships, with companies such as Anglian Water means that we are able to help them to reduce their carbon emissions when distributing water meters to their depots.”




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