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  • FIRST POST
    • darkvortex
    • By darkvortex 25th Feb 16, 11:35 AM
    • 6Posts
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    darkvortex
    Thames Water meters now compulsory?
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 16, 11:35 AM
    Thames Water meters now compulsory? 25th Feb 16 at 11:35 AM
    Hi people,
    Just looking for some advice, basically Thames water have sent a letter out saying they will be fitting SMART water meters in the next month or so.
    I did call them up to try to opt out but they say it is compulsory, Government backed and I have no opt out and also keep quoting 'Section 162 of the water indistry act 1991' even though a 2014 letter from DEFRA state it is not compulsory for water company's to install meters even in areas of severe water stress.

    They could not even answer exactly what other legistation they have and just said I need to search the Government legistation website.

    I did advise I would not give them access to the property if the meter needed to be installed on site but they said they will just install it on the outside of the property.

    Now put aside the point that a water meter is fair and probably would save money, I just prefer to pay a fixed rate a year (even if it increases per year).
    I just don't want a water meter and want to know if there is any legal way to challenge this installation as it seems unfair because at the end of the day Thames water are a monopoly (I can't just switch to better rates from an alternative supplier) and if they just fixed the 3-4 billion gallons of water lost from leaks they probably save more money instead of finding new ways to charge.

    thanks for any advice and apologises for the long post!

    A
Page 2
    • lndac02
    • By lndac02 27th Jul 16, 5:16 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    lndac02
    water meters
    I seem to remember this same argument being used by Margaret thatcher back in 1989/1990 in the Rate versus Poll tax debacle. The idea being that anyone in a house was using the services and should therefore pay accordingly. This meant single occupied houses paid a lot less than a house with 5 occupants. I remember that ending badly for Thatcher. Fast forward 26 years later and we see the same argument being used here. single occupancy homes will be much better off and therefore the water companies will look to multi occupancy properties to make their profits. Anyone who thinks the water companies are spending all this money digging up the streets for environmental reasons is deluding themselves. This is simply a revenue generation operation that will ensure the companies will recover all the costs of doing it in a short period of time by raising charges. The water companies have one interest and that is to their shareholders, the profits made on a fundamental of life (water) are shared amongst them and the boards of these companies. finally I am considered a "customer" of my water company. since I cannot take my "custom" elsewhere, can someone be kind enough to explain to me what the correct definition of customer is and if this term correctly pertains to our relationship with our water suppliers Thanks
    Last edited by lndac02; 27-07-2016 at 5:41 PM. Reason: typos
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 27th Jul 16, 6:00 PM
    • 25,754 Posts
    • 12,351 Thanks
    Cardew
    I seem to remember this same argument being used by Margaret thatcher back in 1989/1990 in the Rate versus Poll tax debacle. The idea being that anyone in a house was using the services and should therefore pay accordingly. This meant single occupied houses paid a lot less than a house with 5 occupants. I remember that ending badly for Thatcher. Fast forward 26 years later and we see the same argument being used here. single occupancy homes will be much better off and therefore the water companies will look to multi occupancy properties to make their profits. Anyone who thinks the water companies for spending all this money digging up the streets for environmental reasons is deluding themselves. This is simply a revenue generation operation that will ensure the companies will recover all the costs of doing it in a short period of time by raising charges. The water companies have one interest and that is to their shareholders, the profits made on a fundamental of life (water) are shared amongst them and the boards of these companies. finally I am considered a "customer" of my water company. since I cannot take my "custom" elsewhere, can someone be kind enough to explain to me what the correct definition of customer is and if this term correctly pertains to our relationship with our water suppliers Thanks
    Originally posted by lndac02
    Interesting that you mention Margret Thatcher, as her government was largely responsible for the water privatisation debacle.

    You need to understand the financing of the water companies and their licencing conditions. It can all be read in the various iterations of 'The Water Act' and Ofwat publications.

    Put in simplistic terms the Regulator(Ofwat) lays down a 5 year plan for all the water companies with targets they must meet. Ofwat sets a maximum revenue they can raise and hence profit levels. The overall percentage increase/decrease in charges is stipulated for each year. As the water companies have a monopoly it is only the Regulator that can keep them in check.

    If we take an example of water meters. The original Water Act stipulated that whilst those occupants on Rateable Value(RV) based charges could elect to remain on that system, on change of occupant(account holder) a meter could be fitted. Thus there would be steadily increasing percentage of properties on a meter as only properties where the occupant had been in situ prior to April 1990 would now not have a meter.

    However the water companies largely didn't bother enforcing this provision. There is simply no financial incentive for them to do so.
    They are allowed to raise xxx millions in revenue and make yy millions in profit. So getting, say, 100 million extra from people put on a meter does not increase the revenue they are allowed to raise as they will have to charge other customers less to compensate.

    Thus this argument does not hold true:

    therefore the water companies will look to multi occupancy properties to make their profits. Anyone who thinks the water companies for spending all this money digging up the streets for environmental reasons is deluding themselves. This is simply a revenue generation operation that will ensure the companies will recover all the costs of doing it in a short period of time by raising charges.
    This puts the water companies in a win/win situation; which is why their share price have steadily increased since privatisation.
    Last edited by Cardew; 27-07-2016 at 6:03 PM.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 29th Jul 16, 9:16 AM
    • 3,886 Posts
    • 1,511 Thanks
    brewerdave
    This puts the water companies in a win/win situation; which is why their share price have steadily increased since privatisation.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    ...with the notable exception of HYDER/Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru ----their shares lost me a lot of money
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 29th Jul 16, 4:37 PM
    • 25,754 Posts
    • 12,351 Thanks
    Cardew
    ...with the notable exception of HYDER/Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru ----their shares lost me a lot of money
    Originally posted by brewerdave
    When was that, presumably prior to 2001?

    I thought Welsh water became a 'not for profit company' in 2001 and there are no shares in the company.

    http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/other/12776456.html

    http://uk.practicallaw.com/9-101-3276?sd=plc
    • Ballard
    • By Ballard 29th Jul 16, 8:15 PM
    • 1,119 Posts
    • 813 Thanks
    Ballard
    It's a bit ambiguous and doesn't cover the issue of data frequency. I for one would not be happy at all about a bunch of drongos having access to details about my water consumption on a minute by minute basis. Usage per month would be acceptable.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    How many people do you think care about your water usage? My meter is inside my property but the majority are out in the street. If anyone was desperate to calculate how many times my neighbours flush the toilet it'd simply be a case of lifting the cover and taking a look. To date I haven't noticed anyone doing so.

    I've just had a smart meter installed. In order for Thames Water to read it they have to bring a reader within a few yards. It doesn't broadcast over the internet or 4G and so the only difference that I can see is that I don't have to answer the door to get the meter read.


    Edit: I have just googled and found this paragraph on a Thames Water press release:

    Quote
    The new meters being installed can automatically collect water usage data every 15 minutes, giving customers in-depth information on how much water they use, as well as more accurate bills.
    Unquote

    I specifically asked my engineer how the smart meters worked and his reply is in my initial post but that press release seems to contradict it. I note that it doesn't go so far as to say that it will transmit the data every quarter of an hour and also that the press release is a couple of years old.

    Regardless of this I still don't have any issue with it but my initial post may have been inaccurate.

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/media/press-releases/17391.htm
    Last edited by Ballard; 30-07-2016 at 6:29 AM. Reason: Added info from Thames Water which partly contradicts my initial post.
    I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened it and read it. It said they were suckers.
    • Ballard
    • By Ballard 6th Aug 16, 11:13 AM
    • 1,119 Posts
    • 813 Thanks
    Ballard
    I have now received a letter form Thames Water giving me a date when my meter will be read which makes it pretty clear that it's not an online thing.
    I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened it and read it. It said they were suckers.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 26th Aug 16, 11:31 PM
    • 10,435 Posts
    • 8,424 Thanks
    jimjames
    No, just stop the leaks and invest in a national water grid.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    So how do you propose to assign the massive costs of pumping water around the UK? Unfortunately it's a bit more difficult to move than gas.

    There is also a point where it isn't economical to deal with leakage below a certain threshold - when it costs more to fix than it would to use existing resources.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • PJB_TT2
    • By PJB_TT2 5th Sep 16, 3:41 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    PJB_TT2
    Pumping water around - there is already a huge water ring main under London. It was put in during the 1980's- 1990's so that there would never be a water shortage in the area. If demand has now outstripped potential supply then that points to another problem - population density.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 21st Sep 16, 1:00 PM
    • 10,435 Posts
    • 8,424 Thanks
    jimjames
    Pumping water around - there is already a huge water ring main under London. It was put in during the 1980's- 1990's so that there would never be a water shortage in the area. If demand has now outstripped potential supply then that points to another problem - population density.
    Originally posted by PJB_TT2
    It's a little bit different moving water 10 miles compared to moving it 500 miles from other parts of the country. Unfortunate that the driest parts of the UK are also the most populated.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 21st Sep 16, 10:07 PM
    • 5,615 Posts
    • 2,024 Thanks
    Pincher
    Who needs a "smart" meter? I don't.

    Put in a meter about four years ago, and it's great.

    I just hope they see it as metered, so will leave it alone.

    How does the smart meter get its power?
    Does the water flow drive a dynamo?
    What happens if you push this button?
    • Inner Zone
    • By Inner Zone 22nd Sep 16, 1:28 PM
    • 1,504 Posts
    • 762 Thanks
    Inner Zone
    Who needs a "smart" meter? I don't.

    Put in a meter about four years ago, and it's great.

    I just hope they see it as metered, so will leave it alone.

    How does the smart meter get its power?
    Does the water flow drive a dynamo?
    Originally posted by Pincher
    There not SMART meter like electricity and gas meters which use GSM (although there are some GSM water meters) They are battery powered (generally 7 to 12 years life) and when a walk or drive by receiver / transmitter is close to the meter it will read data out of the meter including the meters serial number to identify it.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 22nd Sep 16, 8:06 PM
    • 5,615 Posts
    • 2,024 Thanks
    Pincher
    There not SMART meter like electricity and gas meters which use GSM (although there are some GSM water meters) They are battery powered (generally 7 to 12 years life) and when a walk or drive by receiver / transmitter is close to the meter it will read data out of the meter including the meters serial number to identify it.
    Originally posted by Inner Zone
    That's the kind I have already.

    The engineer said they usually hang an automatic meter reader on dumper trucks (bin collection), which picks up the readings on its rounds. So reading once a week, at most, hardly frequent monitoring stuff.

    I get a statement every six months, good enough for me.

    I suppose frequent readings can pick up leaks early.
    What happens if you push this button?
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