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Water meters - pros and cons?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
594 replies 361.9K views


  • gaggyballgaggyball Forumite
    54 posts
    Hi all,

    I have been following the debate about water meters and the general consenus is that they should save money?

    I have just had mine fitted by Servern Trent and will keep you posted on my bills.
  • margaretclaremargaretclare Forumite
    10.8K posts

    I had a water meter installed 12 or 13 years ago. I had to pay for it over 2 years, but the cost has been repaid many times over.

    I lived alone for 5 years and in that time was away a lot - I'd have been paying for water I never used, tied to the council tax band 'C'. Even since there have been 2 of us, since 1997, we use showers instead of baths, washing-machine twice a week, and we're paying £4.39 a month for water and £11 a month for sewerage.

    The only time a water meter would NOT pay for itself is if you had a large family, washing machine going daily, showers and baths all the time. With a meter you pay for what you use! Otherwise, you have no control over it - it's tied to the council tax band.

    Aunty Margaret
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  • BennifredBennifred Forumite
    4K posts
    We were switched to a meter about 4 years ago, and were very worried as are high consumers (me, OH, 3 teenage boys, - washing machine permanently in use, power showers, etc etc). I kept a close eye for that first year, as we were given the option of switching back, but it was quite a lot cheaper and continues to be so. We still wash cars (well, the boys do when they run out of readies :rolleyes: ), water the garden etc.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler

    Otherwise, you have no control over it - it's tied to the council tax band.

    Aunty Margaret

    I don't think it is!

    Unmetered water charges are tied to the Rateable Value which ceased in 1989.
  • Miss_BehavingMiss_Behaving Forumite
    343 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic
    Hi, I moved into my house exactly one year ago and must admit that I was very aprehensive because it had a water meter already fitted.

    My old house was council band D and had I stayed there it would have cost me £258.38 a year for an unmetered supply (£25.91 a month). I have just had a look though my metered water bills and have only paid £133.67 for the whole year! That's a saving of £124.71 and my new house is band F so I dred to think what an unmetered supply would cost.

    There are two adults and two children in the house and the washing machine and diswasher seem to be permanently on! Last summer we even got the kids a 10ft pool which was filled up twice and the bill was still less than an unmetered supply.

    Our supplier is South East Water and if you go to their website they have a calculator so that you can work out if you would be better off with a metered supply.
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  • JackiekarenJackiekaren Forumite
    178 posts
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    I'm living alone and was paying £10 a month on my meter. I got a bill stating I was £47 in credit! So I asked for a refund and they lowered my monthly payment to £8. Great!

    I only use the shower, and don't wash clothes until I have a full load.

    Definately worth it in my case.
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  • chinychiny Forumite
    167 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic
    As this is a money saving board, surely everyone has checked their own particular circumstances. It is easy with the various web sites (one linked earlier in this thread) and various calculators provided by water companies. It is a 10 minute job starting from scratch, armed with a simple calculator or spreadsheet.

    Like many (most ? ) here, I tackled water, gas, elec, phone bills etc when I moved in. My water bill dropped from £650/year to £200/year by going metered.

    Now you have saved so much, how about making a donation to Water Aid for those much less fortunate. A child has died of a water related disease while you read this post.

  • Just to dispel a myth, we are a family of 2 adults and 3 children who are not very frugal with water. Although my wife and I shower, the rest take baths. We put the dishwasher on once a day and the washing machine at least once as well.

    We recently installed a meter and will save approx £150 this year. We are on council tax band F. Therefore if you are on a high council tax band, you are almost certain to save money by having a water meter.
  • Art_2Art_2 Forumite
    1.6K posts
    If you contact your water company they will send you a calculator so that you can work out how much water you use and if it would be sensible to have a meter.

    In general families would be better off not having a meter. The break-even point is about 2 people in a household.

    It's also worth remembering that once you have a meter installed you can't change back again so it's important to make the right decision.


  • doozerukdoozeruk Forumite
    263 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Agree with Art above.

    My household consists of 2 adults and 3 children under 6. I live in a modest 3 bed semi and our water is still on rateable value. Our yearly bill is around £240 a year.

    Five years ago I lived in a smaller and cheaper property (albeit newer) and at that time we only had one child, our water was metered and we paid around £440 a year, so as a family we are much better off. I wouldn't even consider switching to a meter as a largish family.

    My sister who lives in a new 3 bed property is on a meter, one child and a husband and there bill is almost £400 a year too! It doesn't work for everyone, I blamed our shower, it was one of those fed from the bath taps type (not the naff ones!), my sister has one also. There like turning both taps on for a bath but then standing in the shower/bath for 10 minutes........waste of water.
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