Thames Water meters now compulsory?

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
«134567

Comments

  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,274
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    my water meter means I pay far less than the old standing charge


    don't see what your problem is unless you plan to fill a swimming pool
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  • Browntoa wrote: »
    my water meter means I pay far less than the old standing charge


    don't see what your problem is unless you plan to fill a swimming pool

    No I don't intend to fill a swimming pool but since there are 5 adults and 2 children living here we do use a fair amount of water (no we don't use hoses in the garden either as its paved over)
    I just prefer to pay a fixed rate whether or not its cheaper.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    darkvortex wrote: »
    Hi people,
    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.





    I think you are reading that the wrong way! Water companies don't have to install meters even in areas of severe water stress; however they can if they feel it is necessary. i.e. it is the water company's prerogative and not the customer's prerogative.


    If you want further clarification ask the Consumer Council for Water http://www.ccwater.org.uk/
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Just a further point on this issue, unless you have been in the house since before April 1990, Thames Water could(and should) have fitted a compulsory meter on change of occupant. This was authorised in the Water Privatisation Act. The purpose of this provision was to eventually reach the position where virtually all properties were metered. However some companies didn't bother to enforce that provision; others did!
    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)

    I can't agree with you that it is unfair. All properties built since April 1990 have to be metered and it was the declared intent of the Water Act that eventually all properties should be metered. The only reason for allowing properties to remain on Rateable Value in April 1990 was to prevent hardship for existing occupants caused by a big rise.

    Also the Rateable Value for houses in England/Wales was generally assessed in the 1960/70s. Any major improvement in the property should have been notified to the Water Company and a meter fitted. For instance your paved over garden is(with all similar properties) is of huge concern to water companies as the natural drainage into gardens is heavily reduced and the water flows into the storm drains.
  • JJAM
    JJAM Posts: 56
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    Thames Water are unwilling to accept that what they're doing re smart meters is not legally mandatory. If you refuse to have a smart water meter fitted, even if you have given the engineer access to your property, they will put you on a "no access" annual charge of just under £594.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,573
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    Look here from the Thames Water Q & A pages

    As a result our area has been classed as being seriously water stressed and the Secretary of State has granted water companies permission to fit water meters.
    An outline of this can be found in Ofwat’s leaflet:
    Water meters - your questions answered (0.82Mb)
    Our powers to install meters can also be found in section 162 of the Water Industry Act 1991, which grants permission for water companies to meter domestic premises on a compulsory basis in areas which have been determined by the Secretary of State to be of serious water stress (this includes the Thames Water region).
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • GingerBob_3
    GingerBob_3 Posts: 3,659 Forumite
    SMART water meters?
  • darkvortex wrote: »
    it seems unfair

    What's unfair is being able to use as much water as you like for a flat fee. Imagine how much food would cost if everyone could help themselves to anything they want for a flat fee. Regressive tariffs should be banned on all utilities, as they promote profligacy.
  • GingerBob_3
    GingerBob_3 Posts: 3,659 Forumite
    jack_pott wrote: »
    What's unfair is being able to use as much water as you like for a flat fee. Imagine how much food would cost if everyone could help themselves to anything they want for a flat fee. Regressive tariffs should be banned on all utilities, as they promote profligacy.


    It's fair enough. I don't have a water meter (incidentally, house built in 1995). It rains incessantly in this country. Any shortage of water is caused by the government and water companies.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    GingerBob wrote: »
    SMART water meters?

    For some years it has been possible to have water meters that can be read remotely - I have one as my meter is difficult to access.

    Smart water meters are an adaption of this technology such that customers can remotely monitor their own meter. See:

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/your-account/17386.htm
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