Let companies make water meters compulsory, MPs say - MSE News

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Water companies should be allowed to make households get water meters, an influential group of MPs has said...
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'Let companies make water meters compulsory, MPs say'
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  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    Yep, agree with that. Those who use most would then pay most.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • D_M_ED_M_E Forumite
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    Agree that every property should have a water meter but will the mass implementation of smart water meters result in a similar fiasco as seen with smat gas and electricity meters?

    Possibly not, since you cannot yet switch water suppliers so the meter would be tied to one particular supplier in a set area, but what about meters on the fringes of supply areas?
    If the intention is to set up a centralised receiving station which gets information from meters then there could be problems, but if the water company has to do driveby visits and pick up readings that way, then there could also be problems if the driveby detectors recieve a strong signal from the meters - remember the M&S problem where card readers were charging cards nowhere near the terminals?
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    It was always the intent of the 1989 Water Act that all domestic properties would eventually be metered. It decreed that all properties built after April 1990 must have a meter*. Existing properties could apply for a meter; and incidentally pay for it to be fitted! Free meter fitting came later.


    However an important provision of the Act was that on change of occupant(or account holder) the water company could compulsorily fit a meter. Had that provision been enforced the only properties still on Rateable Value(RV) charges would be those that still had the same April 1990 occupant.


    The problem with that provision was that it wasn't mandatory and some companies enforced the provision, but most didn't bother. The reason for this indifference was that there is no financial incentive for the companies to fit meters. In simplistic terms Ofwat allows the companies to raise £Xbillion revenue as long as they meet targets. It is doesn't matter if £Ybillion comes from metered properties and £Zbillion comes from unmetered properties as long as they get their authorised £Xbillion.


    *with a few exceptions.
  • EzorqsEzorqs Forumite
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    I can understand if I were living in Kent, but Manchester? We get the most rainfall in the country. What's the point in forcing us to have water meters?
  • Marvel1Marvel1 Forumite
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    I would love one, but cannot due to shared access with neighbour :(
  • rmg1rmg1 Forumite
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    This article also mentions leaks.
    If I have a water leak and Yorkshire water take forever (like they normally do with anything) to fix it, will I have to pay for that as well?

    I've just calculated I can save about 50% of my normal bill by using a meter. That's good for me.

    What about those families on low incomes that will see a bill increase because of 2 adults, 2 children (i.e. the "nuclear" family). Will they get any help due to increased bills?
    Probably not in my mind.
    :wall: Flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality - Am I flogging a dead horse? :wall:

    Any posts are my opinion and only that. Please read at your own risk.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    In the MSE article by Callum Mason there is a point that needs correcting.

    Without a water meter, your bill is based on your home's 'rateable value' – a figure based on the size of your property.
    Rateable Value(RV) is not based on the size of your property; or indeed its value or Council Tax band.



    The last general revaluation for England and Wales was in 1973 and the RV was assessed on the notional rent a property could command. This assessment included the condition of the house - e.g Central Heating, a garage, garden, as well as the area and access to facilities - bus route etc.


    I know of huge mansions out in the country, that were in a very poor state of repair, that have a lower RV than a small estate semi. Who would want to rent the run down remote mansion? One is modernised and Band H but retains its low RV.





    I also know of a small derelict cottage that was demolished and a 7 bed detached built, with full planning permission, that has kept its 'peppercorn' RV.



    Whilst the owners should have got a meter fitted, they obviously didn't bother and neither did the water company. Indeed the water company probably are not aware of the alterations; they just send out the RV based bills each year.



    We have had many posts on MSE of people complaining that a nearby house is bigger, with a higher Council Tax banding; yet has a lower RV than their house. The reason will be that at the time of the RV assessement(1973?) the bigger house was a less attractive rental proposition.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    cjdavies wrote: »
    I would love one, but cannot due to shared access with neighbour :(


    Then you should apply for a meter and wou will be offered an assessed charge. You must apply first.
  • kerri_gtkerri_gt Forumite
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    cjdavies wrote: »
    I would love one, but cannot due to shared access with neighbour :(

    We have a shared drive and it's made no difference to the water company who are due to fit ours. They were round checking if it was a shared external stop !!!! (it wasn't) but even if that was the case it didn't seem to be an issue.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
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  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    kerri_gt wrote: »
    We have a shared drive and it's made no difference to the water company who are due to fit ours. They were round checking if it was a shared external stop !!!! (it wasn't) but even if that was the case it didn't seem to be an issue.


    Whilst you may be correct, I took cjdavies' post to mean a shared water main. e.g it is often impossible to fit meters in older blocks of flats.
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