MSE News: Compulsory water meters to be installed in thousands of homes

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
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  • OnyourcaseOnyourcase Forumite
    154 Posts
    Hold on, Wait a minute! Ask yourself these questions
    1) What happened before meters? wooo anarchy?
    2) If everybody gets meters, are the water companies going to make less money or hike the price?
  • BallandChainBallandChain Forumite
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    I wonder when they will try and 'meter' fresh air!
  • MikeJOMikeJO Forumite
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    luxor4t wrote: »
    We're having to pay £540 a year - 3 bed house, one loo, two sinks, a bath with a shower over it. The joys of living in Wales! MUST look into getting a water meter.

    £540? Dreamland for us in the South West. There are three of us in a (metered) modest semi constantly being careful and my monthly direct debit is £67 (£800+pa).

    It's not actually even covering our usage so will be rising in the near future.

    The chancellor (in his wisdom) said in the last budget that he'd do something about the region's ridiculously high bills but nothing yet.
    Procrastination is my middle name....well it would be if I could be ar**d to contact Deed Poll."
  • A_Flock_Of_SheepA_Flock_Of_Sheep Forumite
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    There are many ways you can economise on water.

    Why not fill a bath and then re-use the water for each child for example while the water is still warm.

    Automatic washing machines have a lot to answer for though. Twin Tubs were more water friendly as you could wash the whites, turn the heater on to re-warm the water and then wash the coloureds!
  • edited 7 June 2011 at 12:34AM
    John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    edited 7 June 2011 at 12:34AM
    kevpartner wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with this at all - I'd been on water meters in my last two houses in Bucks and when the first was installed, our bill reduced by 25%. Seeing how water is wasted in my new neighbourhood, I'd be absolutely up for a meter.

    However, given how long it takes for my hot water to run hot from my boiler, I might have to put up with cold water for shaving (or get a new boiler).

    Use a kettle?
    x_Bunny_x wrote: »
    How much can you actually use, i mean how much would £1 get you in water?.:huh:

    In my case (S.Essex) I get water that has been tested and passed by the good people of Chelmsford. It has been cleaned up and all bugs killed (?) by ultra violet light and a chlorine substitute (ie it does not taste like an old fashioned swimming pool) I use 25 - 30 tonnes (one tonne is 1000 kilos is 1000 litres) per half year costing about 45 quid a figure that includes a 33 quid standing charge. So a marginal charge of a bit over £1 per extra tonne.
    Watering the garden with drinking water costs over £1 an hour
    S. Essex is drier than Rome.

    I don't pay sewerage charges because I can make my own arrangements.

    Watering the garden and paying sewerage charges on a water meter would nearly double the cost of wasting drinking water, My plants enjoy "grey" water at this time of year.
    Though I don't think I would use it on salad crops, given the death sentences being handed round in Germany.

    I believe too much attention to so called hygiene plus use of industrial chemical detergents, can cause children to develop allergies in later life?
  • cajefcajef Forumite
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    MikeJO wrote: »
    £540? Dreamland for us in the South West. There are three of us in a (metered) modest semi constantly being careful and my monthly direct debit is £67 (£800+pa).

    Not sure what you are doing with it but we are in the SW with a water meter, we were paying £40 per month which has just been reduced to £25 as we had so much in credit, two of us in a detached bungalow, while we are careful we by no means skimp.
    I used to have a handle on life, but it broke. :|
  • That is still the problem with meters and that is why it is not compulsory for everyone yet.
    Lots of people would be better off but as it stands not everyone can have one due to the set up of pipe work and properties.
    It will change I am sure but it will take time as everyone will need to work together (landlords/ homeowners/ government/ water companies) to make sure that the cost of applying meters is evenly spread.


    The quoting doesn't work so well on here when you insert your replies into someone else's text so I have quoted the relevant bits below:

    Once we start talking about assessed charging though, it no longer has anything to do with conserving resources but everything to do with making more money for the water company and its shareholders. This is again just not true, the water company gets a set amount they can have as profit over a 5 year rolling plan..it makes no difference to them and they shareholders if you are on a meter ,assessed or RV. The profit they can take remains the same and is built into each years charges.
    If you can not have a meter fitted that is not the water companies fault, they are offering what they can and if it does not save you money what else would you like them to do ?
    I can see the post now " the water company made me take the assessed charge even though it is more then my RV bill"
    They offered you the best they have now.

    One of the problems around my way is that there is too much reliance on aquifers and not enough reservoirs. Aquifers tend to only get recharged in Winter when the ground is already sodden and plant roots aren't sucking it up. Sutton & East Surrey seem to be more vulnerable than most to this scenario. This is a very good point and the management of water needs to be looked at and totally updated, it is being done but very slowly


    Firstly the bit about water companies' profits/shareholder bonuses etc.
    I will have to take your word for it that the profits are fixed at a certain rate. That does seem strange to me in a capitalist society but is probably necessary in what are effectively regional, private monopolies as it would help prevent abuse. Although I have no understanding of the in depth financial issues behind this, such a system does cause me to wonder why it's been privatised at all.

    Secondly the issue about water management.
    It seems ridiculous to me that in a densely populated area of the southeast, 85% of the water source can only be recharged in the Winter months (just 15% of Sutton & East Surrey's water comes from reservoir(s) ). It only needs two dryish Winters in succession to cause serious problems - even if the other months have been relatively wet.
    This isn't just about a few weeks queueing up at a STANDPIPE EITHER. fOR ME A DROUGHT ORDER WOULD HAVE AN ALMOST IMMEDIATE EFFECT OF PUSHING ME INTO BANKRUPTCY. hOMELESSNESS WOULD FOLLOW SOON AFTER (caps accidental). This is because my one man business is depends upon a water supply (for which I pay by the cubic meter). Unfortunately, although I would not be affected by a hosepipe ban as my usage is commercial, I would certainly have to cease trading in the event of a fully implemented drought order. I use a water purification system for my window cleaning business.
    I learned quite a bit from the drought order hearings that I attended a few years ago the last time we went through this. I think that things have now been changed so that public hearings may be circumvented.
    If someone wants to shut down the business that I've taken 20 years to build and force me onto the streets, they at least could have the manners to face me across a public meeting room. Even with a public meeting, the years of mismanagement could trigger a lot of anger. Denying someone the right to make their case in a public, face to face, forum could trigger serious social upheaval as there are plenty of industries that would be adversely affected.
    It's not just about a few window cleaners. plant nurseries and golf courses.
    On a brighter note, with all those leaks, I'm just eternally grateful that they don't supply our gas too.
  • KittyPrydeKittyPryde Forumite
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    When we moved in to this flat, it was not metered and the previous tenant was paying a set rate of around £30 per month for water. We asked if we could have a meter and the letting agent said it was illegal for the landlord to refuse a meter so we got one and our monthly water bill is now around £15. So a meter has it's uses.
  • GothicfairyGothicfairy Forumite
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    The quoting doesn't work so well on here when you insert your replies into someone else's text so I have quoted the relevant bits below:

    Once we start talking about assessed charging though, it no longer has anything to do with conserving resources but everything to do with making more money for the water company and its shareholders. This is again just not true, the water company gets a set amount they can have as profit over a 5 year rolling plan..it makes no difference to them and they shareholders if you are on a meter ,assessed or RV. The profit they can take remains the same and is built into each years charges.



    Firstly the bit about water companies' profits/shareholder bonuses etc.
    I will have to take your word for it that the profits are fixed at a certain rate. That does seem strange to me in a capitalist society but is probably necessary in what are effectively regional, private monopolies as it would help prevent abuse. Although I have no understanding of the in depth financial issues behind this, such a system does cause me to wonder why it's been privatised at all.

    You don't have to take my word for it at all.. Check the OFWAT site, that is how the water companies have to work.
    They put forward a 5 year plan and is has to be agreed with OFWAT before they can go ahead.
    OFWAT sets the amount of profit they can make in that 5 year plan and that is why say year one your bills might go down and year 3 they go up etc.
    As to why it was privatised..good question but one of the thoughts behind it was that it was costing everyone a ton load more to sort out old pipe work etc where splitting it through the country meant that not every area needed the same amount spending and some needed more etc.
    It then came down to the people / customers using the supply rather then everyone.
    Also the government wanted the money from selling off our things and they made quite a lot of money from the water companies buying the old infrastructures.

    That is why when people use the profit arguement about meters / RV etc it does not work, they will make the same amount of profit no matter how we are charged and we are quite a few years away from everyone being a meter anyway.

    There is a race of men that don't fit in; A race that can't stand still;
    So they break the hearts of kith and kin, and roam the world at will.

    Robert Service
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    I really wish people would find out how water charges/profit margins work before spouting nonsense about water companies after extra profit by this scam or that scam.

    I have little time for the water companies or indeed water privatisation itself; and indeed if they were allowed to make additional profits they would not hesitate for a moment before hitting us with extra charges.

    As stated frequently on this forum, as the water companies have a monopoly in their area, their charges and profit are controlled by the Regulator - Ofwat.

    So it doesn't matter to the water companies(in terms of profit) if everyone is on a meter or nobody on a meter. They are still authorised to raise £x million in charges and make £y million profit.

    The reason why compulsory metering is being introduced is to reduce the amount of water used. This means less water and sewerage to treat and hence less treatment plants required. In areas of real shortage water has to be obtained from other districts - at great expense.
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