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Water meters - pros and cons?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
594 replies 362.2K views
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  • anotheruseranotheruser Forumite
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    I pay £200 a year for un-metered.

    I'll be surprised if getting a meter will save us any money.
  • Jaffa_cakeJaffa_cake Forumite
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    I am on un-metered water.
    My water bill from United utilities is around 600 GBP per year.
    I went onto their website, and I performed the "Would you be better off on a meter"

    It turns out, that we would pay around 60 GBP more a year for our water.

    There are 2 of us in our own 3 bed semi.

    United Utilities in the North West, are terrible in the prices they charge.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Jaffa_cake wrote: »
    I am on un-metered water.
    My water bill from United utilities is around 600 GBP per year.
    I went onto their website, and I performed the "Would you be better off on a meter"

    It turns out, that we would pay around 60 GBP more a year for our water.

    There are 2 of us in our own 3 bed semi.

    United Utilities in the North West, are terrible in the prices they charge.

    The average annual consumption for a couple is approx. 110 cubic metres, although many use far less. That would cost £321pa then add standing charges of £70pa or £130 if you are not exempt from Surface water drainage charges. So £390 or £450pa.

    So it is difficult to see how you would pay £660pa. In any case you can get a meter fitted(free) and revert back to unmetered charges(within 12 months) if you find metered is more expensive.

    P.S. United Utilities are far from the most expensive in UK. Those in the South West pay nearly double your charges!
  • culpepperculpepper Forumite
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    Where we are, the waste water and the supply are seperate companies. the Waste water bill is calculated on a percentage of the supply. So when it became a metered supply, the waste bill went down too. We were paying something like (cant remember exactly ) £44 a month for the two and now it is about £17 I think. I had to contact them both when our first metered information came through because the excess they were charging had not been recalculated and we were still paying too much.
  • I have had a meter fitted for only 6 months and am saving loads. I think the guidance of number of occupants in property subtracted from number of bedrooms is too blunt a tool. On this basis, I didn't change earlier, while I was supporting two offspring, who live away, by occasionally doing washing, providing short stay accommodation etc. Plus having large garden necessitating use of hosepipe. If not on meter, charge is based on council tax banding. Our Band D meant paying £650 a year. With meter, estimate was for £360 a year, but after six months usage of meter, they've dropped me to £15 a month, on estimate of £200 usage. Would definitely recommend meter and now wish I'd done it years ago - particularly as water company (Yorkshire) allows change back for free within two years (I think).
  • We got a water meter fitted as there are only 2 of us in the household and we are at work Mon-Fri. HOWEVER we like our garden so water it during the summer months most evenings. This has resulted in us paying more (about 15%) than before. Id stick with what you have. We wished we had of done.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    I have had a meter fitted for only 6 months and am saving loads. I think the guidance of number of occupants in property subtracted from number of bedrooms is too blunt a tool. On this basis, I didn't change earlier, while I was supporting two offspring, who live away, by occasionally doing washing, providing short stay accommodation etc. Plus having large garden necessitating use of hosepipe. If not on meter, charge is based on council tax banding. Our Band D meant paying £650 a year. With meter, estimate was for £360 a year, but after six months usage of meter, they've dropped me to £15 a month, on estimate of £200 usage. Would definitely recommend meter and now wish I'd done it years ago - particularly as water company (Yorkshire) allows change back for free within two years (I think).

    Just to point out that unmetered water charges are not based on Council Tax banding'.

    The charges are based on the Rateable Value(RV) of the property. The RV was the 'local taxation' scheme in force prior to April 1990 when it changed to the Poll Tax and subsequently to the present Council Tax. Most RV values in UK were assessed between 1973 and 1990.

    Crucially the RV is nothing to do with the value of the property, and there is no correlation between RV and Council Tax banding. It is very possible for Property A to have a high RV and low Council Tax band, whilst Property B has a lower RV but a higher Council tax band.
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    raldisplay wrote: »
    We got a water meter fitted as there are only 2 of us in the household and we are at work Mon-Fri. HOWEVER we like our garden so water it during the summer months most evenings. This has resulted in us paying more (about 15%) than before. Id stick with what you have. We wished we had of done.

    We also like our garden and have an automatic watering system than runs from about April through to September (including when we are away) and we still save well over £300 a year with a meter compared to the RV charge
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • There is just myself and my wife in our house and was thinking of asking for a meter BUT we are both keen gardeners. I grow a lot of fruit and vegetables and my wife flowers and shrubs.I don't believe in growing anything you can't eat! Our water supplier is Wessex Water who have never had any restrictions and we use quite a bit in the summer. Nobody has even mentioned about gardeners when discussing water meters.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    dorix wrote: »
    . Nobody has even mentioned about gardeners when discussing water meters.

    It has been mentioned a lot, and obviously if you use a lot of water for gardening it might be advantageous to remain on charges based on Rateable Value(RV)

    However you have nothing to lose by trying a meter as you can revert back to RV charges within a year or 2 years(depending on company)

    In the long term it is pretty certain that meters will be made compulsory.
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