Utilities in <u>Reading

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Your Complete Guide to Utilities in Reading

Are you moving and want to know more about Reading? Our complete guide to utilities in Reading is going to provide you with everything about broadband, area codes, power generation and energy distributors, and Reading water and sewerage. Keep reading to learn everything about utilities in Reading.

About Reading, Berkshire

Reading RG1 has a population of 218,705 and is located in the county of Berkshire. Berkshire has a population of 915,157 people.

Who supplies my water in Reading?

Reading water utilities are supplied by Thames Water. Below are the main phone numbers for Thames Water:

How to reach your water provider in Reading

Ringing a contact number for Thames Water is one of many contact methods to discuss your Reading water issues.

In the table below we have listed the main telephone numbers for Thames Water general enquiries and emergencies.

Thames Water telephone number Thames Water Emergency telephone number
0800 980 8800 0800 714 614
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-6pm, Emergencies 24/7/365
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Write to Thames Water

Additionally, you can communicate with Thames Water, by composing a letter or sending an email. You can also submit your request on the Thames Water website.

If you prefer to write a letter to Thames Water can do so by writing to the Thames Water address below:

Thames Water Address
Thames Water Customer Services, PO Box 234
Swindon
SN38 3TW

If you would like to email Thames Water, you can use the email address below:

Thames Water Email Address
customer.feedback@thameswater.co.uk

Price of water in Reading

Water bill in Reading

Water rates in Reading are based on if your home has a water meter or not. You can easily check if your Reading water rates are metered or not by checking your water bill or by getting in touch with the supplier. Homes with metered Reading water rates will have a meter number listed on their water bills.

Metered Customers in Reading

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

Unmetered Customers in Reading

Customers without a meter at their Reading home will pay an annual charge for their water consumption. This charge is fixed, meaning you'll pay the same regardless of the amount of water you use at your Reading home.

As an unmetered customer, the rate you pay for water in Reading is going to be based on the rateable value of your home. The rateable value calculation of your Reading water rates would have been determined by the local council in the 90s and is likely that they have not changed since then.

Should I get a water meter installed? It really depends on how much water you consume annually. If you are single, or have a small family, installing a water meter at your Reading might work out cheaper.

Customers with bigger families that use more water will probably not benefit by having a meter installed.

How much is the average water bill in Reading?

The average water bill Reading residents are being charged is £19.33 each month, that's £232 per year.

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How do I pay my Reading water bill?

First, you must sign up and register with Thames Water. After you register your details with Thames 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

It's also possible to choose the frequency of your Reading bill. Whilst some customers would prefer to pay annually, other customers would prefer quarterly, monthly, or even weekly payments instead. After you've set up your Thames 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 Reading?

Unfortunately, your water supplier is fixed and depends on the catchment area based on your postcode. As a customer in Reading RG1, your water supplier is Thames 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.

Reading Water Frequently Asked Questions

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

Frequently Asked Questions About Water in Reading

Is the tap water in Reading safe to drink?

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

Where does the water in Reading come from?

There are three main sources of water that supply Reading:

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

What's the water hardness rating in Reading

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 rating in Reading is over 276ppm, that means the water hardness in Reading is rated as very hard water.

What does this mean?

The clean water supply to your home in Reading contains an elevated level of hard water minerals. very hard water will not clean your clothes, dishes, or your body efficiently, and your appliances will be less efficient which is not good news for your utility bills. There may also be more limescale in your appliances and the taste of your tap water may be affected.

Selectra recommends

You should add a water softener to the water in Reading.

  1. Baths, sinks, and toilets - Use an acidic sanitiser regularly (available in local shops) to clean susceptible surfaces in order to clear limescale deposits.
  2. Kettles - Don't completely fill your kettle with water. You can clean your kettle by half-filling and diluting two tablespoons of white vinegar, leaving it for four hours in order to loosen scale build-up. Rinse and repeat to remove scale.
  3. Dishwashers - Use the built-in water softener. Make sure you occasionally top it off with dishwasher salt in the right compartment.

Reading No Water

If you have no water in your Reading home, you will need to check if the issue is to do with your home plumbing or if the issue is within your neighbourhood in Reading.

If there is no water at your Reading home, is the problem no cold water or no hot water? If the problem is only affecting your hot water, the issue is probably going to be with your home plumbing and not a problem affecting Reading.

If your home has no cold water, not even a trickle, contact Thames Water for advice. You can also try the following:

  1. Check the "In Your Area" sections of the Thames Water website for any information explaining why you have no water.
  2. Check the Twitter account of Thames Water, they often post incident updates when there's a problem.
  3. Ask your neighbours whether they have the same issue as you.
  4. Check that your stop tap is open.

Reading water leak or flooding

Reading water problems can include anything from a leak, a burst water main, or flooding in your Reading 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 Reading property, you need to do one of the following as quickly as you can:

  1. Ring Thames Water regardless if the issue relates to drinking water or wastewater.
  2. If you have access to the internet, visit the "report a leak" page on the Thames Water website and fill in the form to report the problem.

Why does the water in Reading taste strange?

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

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

If you have questions about your water's taste, smell, or appearance, you can speak to Thames Water via the contact channels listed above.

Broadband in Reading RG1

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The speed of your internet connection at your Reading home can vary depending on several factors such as:

  • Fibre availability
  • Proximity of the local telephone exchange
  • Location of the router in your home
  • If you are connected with ethernet or wi-fi
  • Which provider you have

Test the speed of your connection and see how it compares to the average broadband speed for Reading with our fast and simple speed test.

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

Reading Average Download Speed Reading Average Upload Speed
96.20 Mbps 18.25 Mbps
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The internet connection type you have can have an effect on the speed you get in Reading. An FTTP is currently the fastest broadband connection you can get in the UK and is available to 31.83% of households in the UK.

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

Things to consider when picking a broadband provider in Reading?

In 2022, the internet is about as important as any other utility, perhaps more important. So picking the right internet provider can be unnerving. Worry not, we've covered four main points to think about when picking a broadband provider in Reading.

Availability

The first point to bear in mind before picking a broadband provider in Reading is the issue of availability. Most homes in Reading should be able to enjoy superfast' or fibre connections, customers who live in a rural location may have limited access to the type of connection.

However, new builds and properties that have been constructed in the last few years may already have access to ultrafast FTTH as developers often tend to install the latest networks when building new homes.

Type of connection

What kinds of internet connection are available in Reading?

  • Fibre broadband
    • This is the fastest available internet connection in Reading
    • We can split fibre connections into two categories, we call them 'Superfast' and 'Full Fibre'
    • Superfast broadband gives you a minimum download speed of more than 24 Mbps.
    • A Full Fibre broadband connection has a faster download speed from 300 Mbps up to 1 Gbps.
  • ADSL or ADSL2
    • An older type of internet connection that is delivered through your traditional telephone line.
    • Has a slower download speed of up to 24 Mbps.
    • High availability with for 99.9% of Reading homes.
  • Cable
    • Speeds similar to, or faster than, fibre broadband.
    • Only available with Virgin Media.
    • Restricted availability in some parts of Reading.
  • 4G/5G, Mobile, and Satellite Broadband
    • Speed is dependant upon the mobile signal strength in Reading.
    • Can be more expensive for heavy users without unlimited data.
    • No special equipment required by tethering to your smartphone, though some mobile networks do not allow tethering.
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Reading broadband value for money

Reading broadband bill

You also need to consider how much it costs for the broadband in Reading. There are many providers offering a cheap introductory offer for new customers, however you might find the rate suddenly goes up. You should always look in the terms and conditions of the deal before you sign up to a internet connection in Reading. Some providers may even increase the price before your contract has finished. For example, recently there was a BT price hike which affects millions of BT customers.

Reading Broadband Reliability

The reliability of broadband in Reading also needs consideration, with many of us working from home on a part-time or full-time basis, knowing you have a reliable broadband connection to stay in touch with work can be extremely important.

When we're relaxing we're watching movies online or gaming online which without a reliable broadband connection at your Reading home is going to be important.

Reading broadband customer service

Our final tip, the technical support for your Reading broadband internet is of utmost importance. Hopefully you shouldn't have to contact your broadband provider, but if you ever do need to speak to them a high level of customer support that deals with your query efficiently and quickly should be considered when making a decision for a broadband internet provider in Reading.

Broadband FAQ

In the FAQ below, we've answered the frequently asked questions that customers in Reading have about broadband internet.

Broadband Frequently Asked Questions

What's the average broadband speed in Reading?

The average broadband speed in Reading is:

Reading Average Download Speed Reading Average Upload Speed
96.20 Mbps 18.25 Mbps

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

In simple terms, this means the kind of broadband internet connection.

  • ADSL: Asymmetric digital subscriber line - this type of connection has speeds up to 24 Mbps. However, the speed reduces as you get further away from the telephone exchange.
  • Superfast: This is fibre broadband that is at least 30 Mbps.
  • FTTC: Fibre To The Cabinet - is fibre broadband that's connected to one of those green cabinets that you might have near your home in Reading, it's then connected to your house via your standard telephone line.
  • FTTP/FTTH: Fibre To The Premises/Home - This type of fibre connection is use 100% fibre cables to your Reading home. That makes it the most reliable and fastest fibre broadband. Currently, 31.83% of UK home .

What speed internet is best for me?

That would depend on what kind of internet user you are. Take a look at this table to find out which speed you should choose for a broadband service in Reading.

Main internet uses Recommended Broadband Speed Up to 2 devices
Up to 2 devices Social media, light streaming, email, working from home (WFH), etc 10-25 Mbps Broadband
3-5 devices AAll the above, plus online gaming and 4K streaming 50-100 Mbps Broadband
More than 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 the data between your devices. 2.4Ghz WiFi travels across longer distances, but transmit data at slower speeds. 5Ghz WiFi signals have a smaller radius, but are able to transmit your data at faster speeds.

What's the telephone area code for Reading

Corded telephone area code Reading

The telephone area code, sometimes called the landline dialling code, for Reading is 0118. When making a call to someone in Reading, and you are in a different area, you must add 0118 before the number you're trying to call.

How much does an 0118 Reading call cost?

If you have a call plan with your mobile or landline tariff, then the call cost should be included in that tariff. If calls are not included with your tariff, it should cost in the region of 10p per minute, plus an additional call set-up charge.

If you are unsure whether you have inclusive calls, we recommend getting in touch with your provider before making the call so you don't find unexpected charges on your telephone bill.

How many telephone area codes are there in the UK? There's a total of 645 telephone area codes in the UK. They are a mix of three, four, or five digits long.

Electricity and Gas in Reading

Residents of Reading are free to choose their gas and electricity provider, but whichever supplier they are with, the electricity and gas will always be supplied and maintained by the network operator for the region.

These network operators are known as Distribution Network operators (DNOs) and it is these companies that own, operates and maintains the infrastructure that connects your Reading home to the electricity grid and gas networks.

Most of the time you will never need to ever contact the Reading distribution network operator, but if you do, you can find the distribution network operator for Reading in this section.

Learn more about what a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) does in our Distribution Network Operator guide

Electricity Distribution Network Operator for Reading

The electricity distribution network operator for Reading is Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks - Central Southern England. You can find the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks - Central Southern England contact details in the table below:

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks - Central Southern England Contact Information
General Enquiries 0800 048 3516
Emergencies 0800 072 7282
Email GE@ssen.co.uk
Website https://www.ssen.co.uk/
Address Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road
Perth

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 Reading

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

Fossil Fuels

In 2021, a total of 47.4% of the UK’s electricity was generated by burning fossil fuels. This came mostly from natural gas (42%) and coal (2.7%). In addition, a tiny amount was generated with other types of fossil fuels (2.7%). The electricity produced from fossil fuels does change each year.

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power accounted for 16.1% of electricity generation in 2021, and in the coming years this is expected to reduce as the UK’s nuclear power stations are scheduled for closure, only one will still be generating energy 2035. However, there are plans to build new nuclear reactors such as Hinkley Point C which is currently being built.

Renewable Energy

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

Municipalities Close By Reading

You might be wondering which municipalities are nearby Reading, in the table below you can see the closest five municipalities to Reading.

Closest five municipalities to Reading
Municipality Distance from Reading
Purley-on-Thames 2.15 miles
Tilehurst 2.15 miles
Southcote 2.15 miles
Woodley 3.33 miles