South East Water has become the first domestic water supplier to partner with Hive, Centrica’s connected home provider, to help customers monitor their water usage and detect and reduce leaks.

The Hive leak sensor is a WiFi enabled smart device which, according to the retailer, uses algorithms to detect abnormal flows of water. If detected, it then notifies customers via the Hive app and initiates a troubleshooting process which allows users to detect potential leaks and have more control over their water use.

Claire Miles, managing director of Centrica Hive, said: “This is another first for Hive and a hugely exciting opportunity for us to enter into a partnership with a domestic water provider like South East Water. This enables us to provide solutions like ‘Leak’, where we can stop a drip becoming a far bigger problem for even more customers using our smart home technology.”

South East Water said the partnership reaffirms its commitment to realise its leak reduction target of 15 per cent.

The company’s draft business plan for PR19 shows that being able to control water usage is a priority for many of its customers.

David Hinton, asset and regulation director at South East Water, said: “As the number of smart devices people use in their homes increases people have more control than ever before and can make changes to reduce their own water consumption.

“The ultimate goal is not only to reduce leaks in our network and reduce consumption of water, but to also improve customer satisfaction by finding new ways to engage with our customers.”

Interest in smart devices has been increasing rapidly with ownership of such a device more than doubling within the past two years, according to a survey conducted by PwC. The increased demand for efficient, connected home solutions has allowed Hive to expand its operation.

This is not the first time Hive has partnered with a water company. In August, Hive’s parent company, Centrica announced it was partnering with non-domestic retailer Wave.

South East Water is now looking for 800 customers to trial the “leak sensor” in early January. If the trial is successful, the water company hopes to extend the scheme and offer the new device to its 2.2 million customers.

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