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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  • Cardew wrote: »
    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.

    OK so they want to restrict usage and the profit issue is not relevant.
    However, if they were really so intent on restricting usage, they could have metered my flat. Apparently they will fit up to two meters in a dwelling in order to isolate the supply to meter it. Mine would have taken three meters.
    Maybe profit isn't the main motivator but that leaves me a bit puzzled. I do wonder if they would have fitted the meters if I had offered to pay for the extra one.
    I'm genuinely trying to think of a reason that makes sense now that the financial one has been shown to be a straw man.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    OK so they want to restrict usage and the profit issue is not relevant.
    However, if they were really so intent on restricting usage, they could have metered my flat. Apparently they will fit up to two meters in a dwelling in order to isolate the supply to meter it. Mine would have taken three meters.
    Maybe profit isn't the main motivator but that leaves me a bit puzzled. I do wonder if they would have fitted the meters if I had offered to pay for the extra one.
    I'm genuinely trying to think of a reason that makes sense now that the financial one has been shown to be a straw man.

    Presumably your property is one of the 10% in the 'too difficult' category!!

    When water was privatised it was the intent to eventually get all properties metered - other than those where it was not physically possible. However it was felt that this would cause hardship to some families and it would be phased in.

    To go some way toward achieving this all water companies were given the power to fit meters on change of occupant(including tenants). However very few water companies bothered to enforce this regulation.

    This is a symptom of the way water companies are funded - it doesn't matter to them if they enforce that regulation or not - they get their £y million profit regardless.

    As you are probably aware the unmetered properties are charged on the basis of their Rateable Value(RV). This for most properties in England was last assessed in 1973(and up to 1990).

    Many of these RVs are a complete nonsense and it is possible to have a Band H mansion with a lower RV than a 1 bed flat.

    Again the lack of profit incentive for the companies means they take no steps to end this situation.
  • MobeerMobeer Forumite
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    Quote: "Veolia Water Company, formerly known as Folkestone and Dover Water"

    Actually it is Veolia Water South East who replaced Folkestone and Dover Water; not to be confused with Veolia Water Central or Veolia Water East

    Name change:
    https://southeast.veoliawater.co.uk/name-change.aspx

    The three companies:
    https://southeast.veoliawater.co.uk/your-local-water-company.aspx
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    As Cardew has pointed out, getting more water in dry areas of the country is very expensive. A lot of the water finally ending up in the Thames here in Essex was destined by mother nature for the Humber estuary.
    It arrives via Chelmsford sewage works and Hanningfield's high tech. purification works (There is even a rumour that the works destroys birth control pill residues, but the number of blokes with "man breasts" makes me wonder.)

    In these situations, the supply company (French controlled in my case) can make more profit by introducing meters, reducing consumption and thus avoiding the need for more infra structure - given a stable population. But as we are "Thames Gateway" development zone, that is not very likely.
  • edited 8 June 2011 at 1:39PM
    simonm_3simonm_3 Forumite
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    edited 8 June 2011 at 1:39PM
    I'm all for Water meters and have had one at my property since I moved in 12 years ago. 1st saving I made was fixing all the leaking taps that the previous owner had put up with, more recently lots of grey and rain water recycling. Both resulted in a notable drop in water consumption.

    Its an old property and one thing I do on an annual basis is make sure all taps are off and have a look at the meter to make sure there are no hidden leaks. What I would recommend, if you are having a compulsory meter or a meter of any kind is see if you can find out if you property has ever had a free supply pipe leak repair from the water company (you get at least one - up to a certain value). If you have had one, consider a water supply pipe policy, at least for the first year or so then if the meter ends up indicating a leak, somebody else will pay to fix it. This shouldn't be necessary with a newish house, but anything older than 1970's or so which might have had black plastic pipes or later still iron pipes is certainly at some small risk.

    Its not that having a meter will mean you get a leak, its just that you might have a leak now and that with a meter you see the effect with an abnormal consumption. Also remember that the water company will allow for leakage in certain cases, so as long as it gets fixed, you can claim back the excess cost in water prior to the fix.
  • I live in a three bedroom house on my own but have no desire to have a water meter. What I would like very much is a choice of water supplier as I have with all the other utilities. I live in the area of Sutton Water and Thames Sewerage. I am allowed to own shares in Northumbrian Water but not to choose them or anyone else as my service provider. So Sutton Water and Thames hold a monopoly over me. Why should this be?
  • jwiljwil Forumite
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    I fully support this. People should pay for what they use.

    I've moved from a 2 bed terraced with a water meter to a 3 bed semi without. My bill has increased from £14 per month to £67 per month!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
  • oswizukoswizuk Forumite
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    Would I be annoyed if my gas bill was based on the size of house, regardless of how well-insulated it is?
    Do I want my electricity bill to be decided on how many bedrooms I have?
    Should my telephone bill be determined by the frontage of my property?

    Am I annoyed by people who think water metering is wrong? YOU BET!!

    The truth is that water is another commodity,
    just like gas, electricity and phone. We pay all of these based on usage of the commodity. So it should be for water.

    For too long, it has been in the water company's interests to avoid compulsory metering because of the cost (to them) that it involves. In the 1970's it was intended that all households would be metered, but that did not sit well with the privatisation of the water companies by the Conservative government under Maggie Thatcher and so the plan was shelved, to the detriment of us all today. The companies are now having to face present and future shortages because of uncaring use of water by too many of us!

    Who really cares at the moment if we leave taps running, hose-pipe our cars for half-an-hour, wash our patios etc...etc... Currently, non-metered households don't have to care - bills are not linked to usage!

    I live in a two-adult household which, since moving to metering nearly three years ago, has seen water consumption reduced by...
    • Using roof-based rain butts to operate our two toilets, replacing the mains and internal connections
    • Collecting rainwater for plants - we have an active fruit/vegetable garden
    • Only washing the car when rain is plentiful and "natural" rinsing can take place
    Our annual bill as a consequence has fallen from £335-ish to £120 p.a.

    Yes, we benefit from metering, but water use should be paid for like everything else - based on how much you use.
    Filiss
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    I live in a three bedroom house on my own but have no desire to have a water meter. What I would like very much is a choice of water supplier as I have with all the other utilities. I live in the area of Sutton Water and Thames Sewerage. I am allowed to own shares in Northumbrian Water but not to choose them or anyone else as my service provider. So Sutton Water and Thames hold a monopoly over me. Why should this be?

    There is no national grid for water - the stuff that comes out of your taps belongs to the company that produced it (by and large).
  • bisybeebisybee Forumite
    16 Posts
    If I have a water meter installed in my home can I have it uninstalled later if I change my mind?

    Probably a silly question, but can having a water meter (or not having one) affect the value of a house?

    Advice would be much appreciated,
    Thanks
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