The Chief Executive of Water Service (Mrs. Katharine Bryan) has written to the hon. Gentleman in response to this question.
Letter from Mrs. Katharine Bryan, dated 25 January 2007:
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question about how many elderly people requested that water meters be installed at their homes in Northern Ireland in the last period for which figures are available (111371). I have been asked to reply as this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Water Service.
During the past year, both Water Service and Water Reform Unit have received a significant number of enquiries about metering, including some requests to have a meter installed. In each case the customer has been provided with details of when the installation programme will commence and the likely date for availability of application packs which include information on deciding to opt for a meter, responsibilities of becoming a metered customer and a formal application form.
The packs will be available on request from the Water Service Customer Relations Centre from the first week of February 2007 in conjunction with the Customer Readiness Campaign. Although no formal applications have been accepted to date, we have, since 1 October 2006, received 109 substantive requests from pensioners for a meter to be installed. It is our intention to issue these customers with application packs as soon as they are available.