Why is my Water Company Installing Meters

Why is my water company installing water meters?

Companies are installing meters as part of their plans to make sure there is enough water for customers now and in the future. Meters provide them with important information that helps them reduce leakage and manage supplies more effectively. Moreover, water efficiency benefits can be achieved as customers with a meter use an average of 10% less water. By being careful not to waste water, you can help to:

  • protect the environment
  • safeguard water and sewerage services for the future
  • keep bills lower, for example by reducing the need to build expensive new reservoirs; and
  • save money

Compulsory Metering

The government wants water meters installed in most British homes by 2020. However, the situation is different in some parts of the country where water resources are more stressed. In those regions compulsory metering is already being introduced and will be completed much sooner. On the other hand, water metering is particularly unlikely in Scotland.

There are certain exceptions where you may be obliged to have a water meter installed. A water company has the right to choose to install a water meter at your property whether you've requested it or not, but it doesn't have the right to charge you on a metered basis unless:

  • Customers move house or where a property has been split to create several separate new dwellings with completely new occupiers.
  • Customers are the new occupier of a property, and haven't yet received an unmetered bill.
  • Customers move house or where a property has been split to create several separate new dwellings with completely new occupiers.
  • Customers have a power shower, extra-large bath, spa or Jacuzzi with a capacity of more than 230 litres.
  • When a customer uses 'automatic', non hand-held watering device such as a lawn sprinkler (hand held hose pipes only count if they are perforated).
  • Customers have a swimming pool at your property with a capacity greater than 10,000 litres that is automatically replenished.
  • Customers use a reverse osmosis water softening unit.
  • Customer live in a ‘water stressed’ area where the government has allowed compulsory metering as part of a plan to maintain secure water supplies.

Other proposals being suggested for compulsory metering include targeting areas where water shortages are most severe, encouraging people to install a water meter voluntarily and capping bills for low income households to ensure they don't end up paying more should compulsory metering be introduced.