Thames Water meters now compulsory?

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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    edited 27 July 2016 at 6:03PM
    lndac02 wrote: »
    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 :)

    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.
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,504 Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    This puts the water companies in a win/win situation; which is why their share price have steadily increased since privatisation.

    ...with the notable exception of HYDER/Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru ----their shares lost me a lot of money:(
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    brewerdave wrote: »
    ...with the notable exception of HYDER/Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru ----their shares lost me a lot of money:(

    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
    Ballard Posts: 2,846 Forumite
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    edited 30 July 2016 at 6:29AM
    GingerBob wrote: »
    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.

    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
    I hate verisimilitude.
  • Ballard
    Ballard Posts: 2,846 Forumite
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    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 hate verisimilitude.
  • jimjames
    jimjames Posts: 17,578 Forumite
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    GingerBob wrote: »
    No, just stop the leaks and invest in a national water grid.

    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.
  • 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
    jimjames Posts: 17,578 Forumite
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    PJB_TT2 wrote: »
    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.
    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
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
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    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?
  • Inner_Zone
    Inner_Zone Posts: 2,853 Forumite
    Pincher wrote: »
    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?

    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.
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