United Utilities forcing Water Meters

BendyTaffies Forumite Posts: 8
First Post
Hi all, 

My water provider has announced that they’re installing water meters to everyone on our street, with the “story” of they’re doing it so they can show you how much you’ll save if you switched to a water meter. I called them to try to opt out but they said it wasn’t possible. What are my options? 

Currently I pay a fixed rate per month and as my family is increasing, I’d like to stick with this fixed rate. But I worry that they’ll use this as a technique to force everyone to be on a water meter eventually.


  • Dolor
    Dolor Forumite Posts: 7,644
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    You don’t have any options.

    ‘Emma Clancy, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Compulsory metering programmes form part of wider efforts to tackle the looming threat of a water shortage crisis and it’s really important customers living in those regions comply with this.’

  • Cardew
    Cardew Forumite Posts: 29,014
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    Welcome to the forum.

    It was always the intent of the Government in passing the Water Privatisation Act that all properties would eventually be metered and all properties built since 1990 had to have a meter(with a very few exceptions)

    Existing properties in April 1990 were allowed to retain charges based on their Rateable Value but provision was made for water companies to compulsorily fit a meter on change of owner of the property, or major modification to the property.

    Sadly many water companies couldn't be bothered to enforce that provision, because there was no financial incentive for them to do so.
  • BendyTaffies
    BendyTaffies Forumite Posts: 8
    First Post
    Thank you for your replies - much appreciated. 
  • rjl
    rjl Forumite Posts: 7
    Part of the Furniture Name Dropper First Post

    UU have just installed a water meter for my house, without notifying me. Just made a complaint to them as the first I knew about it was when I got an email to say I had a new bill. They said I should have been told before hand (by post or email) that they were installing a meter under their enhanced metering programme

    When I checked the bill I found I was now on a metered supply which is covered by their lowest bill guarentee, which means i won't pay more than the old,fixed rateable value bill for the next 2 years.

    Hopefully their estimates (that I will have lower bills) with 3 adults in a 3 bed house are correct.

    If the metered bills are more then I can always switch back to the old rateable value bill.

    Looks like UU are using their powers to the full, to increase the number of meters being used.

    So, I can understand why they see this as a way to reduce water usage. I just wish I'd been told in advance.

  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Forumite Posts: 7,251
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    How would have being told in advance made any difference as the fitting was compulsary anyway?

  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Forumite Posts: 13,202
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    This is not a case of the water companies "using their powers to the full"

    The water companies are being forced to compulsory metering by their regulator.

  • CurlySue2017
    CurlySue2017 Forumite Posts: 429
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    In fairness if you use more water then it makes sense that you should pay more, all other utilities are metered and you pay based on usage
  • freesha
    freesha Forumite Posts: 322
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    No one ever complains about paying for their exact usage for anything else - why is water any different?
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