Utilities in <u>Plymouth

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Your Complete Guide to Utilities in Plymouth

If you've moved and have questions about Plymouth? Our complete guide to utilities in Plymouth is going to provide you with everything about broadband, area codes, power generation and energy distributors, and Plymouth water and sewerage. Keep reading to learn everything about utilities in Plymouth.

About Plymouth, Devon

Plymouth PL1 has a population of 234,982 and is located in the county of Devon. Devon has a population of 795,012 people.

Who supplies my water in Plymouth?

Plymouth water services are supplied by South West Water. Here are the main contact numbers for South West Water:

How to get in touch with the water supplier in Plymouth

Ringing a contact number for South West Water is just one method of contact to discuss your Plymouth water issues.

In the table below we have listed the main phone numbers for South West Water general enquiries and emergencies.

South West Water telephone number South West Water Emergency telephone number
0344 346 1010 0344 346 2020
Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm, Emergencies 24/7/365
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Write to South West Water

You can also get in touch with South West Water, either by email or with a letter in the post. You can also send your request via the South West Water website.

If you prefer to send a letter to South West Water can do so by writing to the South West Water address below:

South West Water Address
Peninsula House, Rydon Lane
Exeter, Devon
EX2 7HR

Water rates in Plymouth

Water bill in Plymouth

Water rates in Plymouth depend on whether your home has a water meter or not. You can easily find out whether your Plymouth water rates are metered or not by looking at a recent water bill or by speaking to the supplier. Homes with metered Plymouth water rates will have a meter number listed on their water bills.

Metered Customers in Plymouth

Customers with a water meter at their Plymouth property will pay an annual charge that is fixed, plus an extra charge for each cubic meter (m3) consumed. The fixed charge is to cover the essential running costs of South West Water. Whilst the variable charges are for the consumption at your Plymouth home.

Unmetered Customers in Plymouth

Customers that don't have a water meter at their Plymouth home will pay an annual charge for their water consumption. This charge is fixed, meaning your water bill will stay the same regardless of how much water consumed at your Plymouth home.

The rate unmetered customers pay for water in Plymouth is based on the rateable value of your home. The rateable value calculation of your Plymouth water rates would have been determined by the local council in the 90s and are unlikey to have changed since then.

Should I get a water meter installed? You need to consider how much water you consume per year. If you are single, or have a small family, having a water meter installed at your Plymouth might work out cheaper.

Customers with large households are unlikely to see any savings by having a meter installed.

How much is the average water bill in Plymouth?

The average water bill Plymouth residents are being charged is £18.17 monthly, which works out at £218 per year.

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How do I pay my Plymouth water bill?

First, you must sign up and register with South West Water. After you've registered with South West Water, you will be able to choose your preferred payment method, such as:

  • Direct Debit
  • Online payments
  • Pay over the phone
  • Bank transfer
  • Payment by cheque
  • Payment card

You may be able to choose how often you pay your Plymouth bill. Whilst some customers prefer to make a single annual payment, other customers might like to set up quarterly, monthly, or even weekly payments instead. As soon as you've set up your South West Water account, you will be able to choose how often you recieve your water bill and how to pay for it.

Can I switch the water supplier in Plymouth?

Unfortunately, your water supplier is fixed and depends on the catchment area based on your postcode. As a customer in Plymouth PL1, your water supplier is South West Water.

Since April 2017, business water customers have been able to switch water suppliers. You can find out if your business is eligible in our guide to switching water suppliers.

Plymouth Water Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have answered the most commonly asked questions that customers in Plymouth have about their water supply.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water in Plymouth

Is water from the tap in Plymouth safe to drink?

Yes! It's safe to drink the tap water in Plymouth. You can rest assured that Plymouth water meets high standards making it safe to drink. The UK Drinking Water Inspectorate has scored Plymouth water quality 99.94% in overall mean zonal compliance, that means your tap water is safe to drink. It is not required to boil or filter Plymouth water to make it drinkable.

Where does the water in Plymouth come from?

There are three main sources of water that supply Plymouth:

  • Surface sources - 93%
  • Groundwater sources - 6%
  • Mixed sources - 1%

Is the water hard in Plymouth

While rainwater itself is relatively soft, water hardness can change through the water cycle. As rainwater filters through rocks, it picks up minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. The more minerals the water picks up, the harder is your water considered.

The water hardness in Plymouth is less than 60ppm, that makes the water hardness in in Plymouth is rated as soft water.

What does this mean?

The water supply to your home in Plymouth contains just trace amounts of hard water minerals. soft water will give your clothes a softer feel, and your appliances will be more efficient which is good news for your wallet. It also means less limescale build-up in your home appliances which extends their lifespan.

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You don't need to add a water softener to the water in Plymouth.

Plymouth No Water

If you have no water in your Plymouth home, you will need to check if the issue is to do with your home plumbing or if the problem is an outage affecting Plymouth.

If there is no water at your Plymouth home, is it only affecting cold water or hot water? If you still have cold water but no hot water, the issue will be with your home plumbing and not a problem affecting Plymouth.

If you don't have any cold water, not even a trickle, contact South West Water for assistance. If this is the case, you can try these tips:

  1. Check for updates on the "In Your Area" sections of the South West Water website for any information explaining why you have no water.
  2. Examine the Twitter account of South West Water, they often post incident updates when there's a problem.
  3. Talk to your neighbours and see if they are having a problem with their water supply.
  4. Make sure your stop tap is in the open position.

Plymouth water leak or flooding

Plymouth water problems might include anything from a burst water main or flooding, to a leak in your Plymouth home. So you must make sure you know who to contact and what to do and if you have a water emergency.

If you find a water leak or flooding that's not inside your Plymouth property, you must do one of the following as soon as possible:

  1. Contact South West Water regardless if the issue relates to drinking water or wastewater.
  2. If you can access the internet from your location, visit the "report a leak" page on the South West Water website and fill out the online form.

Why does the water in Plymouth taste strange?

If you notice a change in taste or smell with your Plymouth water this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. Chlorination is a safe way to ensure hygiene throughout the pipe network.
  2. Seasonal changes can infuse the Plymouth water with an earthy smell or taste.
  3. Plumbing can also contribute to the taste of your household water, adding rubbery, salty, or metallic hints to Plymouth water.

If you are unsure about your water's appearance, smell, or taste, you should get in touch with South West Water using the contact information above.

Broadband in Plymouth PL1

Plymouthinternet connected globe

The broadband speed you get at your Plymouth home can vary depending on several factors such as:

  • Fibre availability
  • Proximity of the local telephone exchange
  • Where you've placed your router
  • If you are connected with ethernet or wi-fi
  • Which provider you have

Test your internet speed and see if it matches the average connection speed for Plymouth with our quick and easy to use internet speed test tool.

Did you know that the average download speed in the UK is around 62.5Mbps?

Plymouth Average Download Speed Plymouth Average Upload Speed
88.55 Mbps 12.50 Mbps
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The type of internet connection you have can affect your download and upload speed in Plymouth. An FTTP is the fastest internet connection available in the UK however, at the time of writing, this is only available to 31.83% of homes in the UK.

ADSL internet connections are the slowest, in some remote parts of the UK this type of connection is the only one that's available.

Things to consider when picking a broadband provider in Plymouth?

It's 2022, which means the internet is just as important as any other utility, perhaps more important. That means choosing an internet service provider might seem daunting at first. Don't worry, let's take a look at the top four points to think about when picking a broadband provider in Plymouth.

Availability

The first point to bear in mind when picking a broadband provider in Plymouth is the availability. Whilst many homes in Plymouth can take advantage of fibre or 'superfast' connections, people outside a built-up area could face issues getting access to the fastest internet.

Although, homes that have been built in the last few years may already have access to ultrafast FTTH since developers often install the latest networks when building new homes.

Type of connection

How can I connect to the internet in Plymouth?

  • Fibre broadband
    • This is fastest connection that's currently available in Plymouth
    • Fibre broadband is split into two categories, they are called 'Superfast' and 'Full Fibre'
    • Superfast broadband gives you a minimum download speed of more than 24 Mbps.
    • A Full Fibre connection can currently reach speeds from 300 Mbps up to 1 Gbps.
  • ADSL or ADSL2
    • An older type of internet connection that is provided via your phone line.
    • Has a slower download speed of up to 24 Mbps.
    • Available to 99.9% of Plymouth homes.
  • Cable
    • Speeds similar to, or faster than, fibre broadband.
    • Only available with Virgin Media.
    • Availability can be limited in some parts of Plymouth.
  • 4G/5G, Mobile, and Satellite Broadband
    • Speed is dependant upon the mobile signal strength in Plymouth.
    • Might work out more expensive without an unlimited data plan.
    • No special equipment required by tethering to your smartphone, although some of the mobile networks in the UK will not allow tethering.
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broadband connections options

Plymouth broadband cost

Plymouth broadband bill

Another important consideration is the price you pay for broadband in Plymouth. There are many providers offering a low cost deal for new customers, however you might find the rate suddenly goes up. It's important to read the small print of the offer before you commit to a internet service in Plymouth. Some providers may even increase the price before your contract has finished. In the news recently, there was a BT price hike which affects millions of BT customers.

Plymouth Broadband Reliability

The reliability of broadband in Plymouth should also be considered, with many people working from home either full-time or part-time, having a reliable internet connection to do your work is a priority.

When we're relaxing we're playing online games with friends or streaming movies and TV shows which without a reliable broadband connection at your Plymouth home is going to be important.

Plymouth broadband customer service

Finally, the technical support for your Plymouth broadband connection is extremely important. There's a good chance you will never need to get in touch with your internet service provider, but if you ever do need to speak to them a high level of customer support that can deal with your problem in a fast and efficient manner is a strong plus when you choose a broadband provider in Plymouth.

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Broadband FAQ

Our FAQ contains the answers to the most asked questions from customers in Plymouth ask about their broadband.

Broadband Internet FAQs

Is the internet fast in Plymouth?

The average broadband speed in Plymouth is:

Plymouth Average Download Speed Plymouth Average Upload Speed
88.55 Mbps 12.50 Mbps

What do ADSL, Superfast, FTTC, FTTH, and FTTP actually mean?

Put simply, this means the kind of broadband internet connection.

  • ADSL: Asymmetric digital subscriber line - a broadband connection like this has a download speed of up to 24 Mbps. However, the speed will be slower the further away you are from the telephone exchange.
  • Superfast: This is a kind of fibre broadband connection with download speeds of at least 30 Mbps.
  • FTTC: Fibre To The Cabinet - this is a fibre connection that is delivered to one of those green cabinets that you might have near your home in Plymouth, it's then connected to your house through your traditional copper wire telephone line.
  • FTTP/FTTH: Fibre To The Premises/Home - The connection is delivered using 100% fibre cables to your Plymouth home. That means it's the fastest and most reliable type of broadband fibre internet. Currently, 31.83% of homes in the UK .

What speed internet is best for me?

That will be dependant on what kind of internet user you are. Check out the table below to find out the kind of broadband speed you should pick when signing up for broadband in Plymouth.

Main internet uses Recommended Download Speed Up to 2 devices
Up to 2 devices Web, email, working from home (WFH), light streaming, social media, etc 10-25 Mbps Broadband
Maximum of 5 devices AAll of the above, online gaming and 4K streaming 50-100 Mbps Broadband
Over 5 devices All of the above, streaming your own video content on the web or large file transfers 100+ Mbps Broadband

What's the difference between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi?

2.4ghz and 5ghz are the two radio frequencies internet routers use to transmit data to connected devices. 2.4Ghz WiFi travels across longer distances, but transmit data at slower speeds. 5Ghz WiFi signals have less range, but will transmit the data between devices at faster rates.

What's the telephone dialling code of Plymouth

Corded telephone area code Plymouth

The landline area code, sometimes called the dialling code, for Plymouth is 01752. If you call someone in Plymouth, and you are not in the same area, you must add 01752 to the number you'd like to call.

How much does an 01752 Plymouth call cost?

If you have a call plan with your mobile or landline tariff, then the call cost will probably be included in that tariff. Without an inclusive calls plan, the cost of the call will be about 10p per minute, plus a small call set-up charge.

If you don't know whether you have inclusive calls, we recommend getting in touch with your provider before you make the call to avoid unexpected charges on your bill.

How many different area codes are there in the UK? There are 645 area codes in the UK incl. Northern Ireland. Area codes in the UK can be three, four, or five digits long.

Gas and Electricity in Plymouth

People living in Plymouth are able to choose their gas and electricity provider, but regardless of the supplier they are billed by, the electricity and gas will always be distributed and taken care of by the local network operator.

These network operators are officially called Distribution Network operators (DNOs) and these are the companies that own, operates and maintains the infrastructure that connects your Plymouth home to the electricity grid and gas networks.

In many cases you won't need to speak to the Plymouth distribution network operator, but if you do, you can quickly find out which DNO covers Plymouth in this section.

You can find out more information about what a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) does in our Distribution Network Operator guide

Electricity Distribution Network Operator for Plymouth

The electricity distribution network operator for Plymouth is Western Power Distribution - South West. You can find the Western Power Distribution - South West contact details in the table below:

Western Power Distribution - South West Contact Information
General Enquiries 0800 096 3080
Emergencies 0800 6783 105
Email wpdnewsupplies@westernpower.co.uk
Website https://www.westernpower.co.uk/
Address Lostwithiel Road
Bodmin, Cornwall

There are six electricity distribution network operators in the UK:

  1. Electricity North West
  2. Northern Powergrid
  3. SSE Networks
  4. SP Energy Networks
  5. UK Power Networks
  6. Western Power Distribution
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Power Generation near Plymouth

There are no power plants within a 10 mile radius of Plymouth.

Fossil Fuels

In 2021, a total of 47.4% of the UK’s electricity was generated by burning fossil fuels. The majority of which was natural gas (42%) and coal (2.7%). Additionally, a small amount was produced from other kinds of fossil fuels (2.7%). The electricity produced from fossil fuels does change each year.

Nuclear Power

16.1% of electricity was generated by nuclear reactors in 2021, and in the coming years this is expected to reduce as the UK’s nuclear power stations begin to close, by 2035 there will only one nuclear power plant still producing energy. However, we can expect new nuclear reactors to be built such as Hinkley Point C which is under construction.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy generated 40.3% of electricity in 2021, an increase from 29% in 2018. Renewable fuel sources include solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. This is expected to continue rising as the UK strives to hit its net-zero targets.

Towns and Cities Near Plymouth

Perhaps you're wondering which towns and cities are close to Plymouth, in the below table you will find the closest five municipalities to Plymouth.

Closest five municipalities to Plymouth
Municipality Distance from Plymouth
Millbridge -
The Hoe -
Devonport -
Laira 0.87 miles