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Water meters - pros and cons?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
598 replies 365.3K views


  • harrym1bytharrym1byt Forumite
    51 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    They will tell you how much (cubic metres) they have calculated you will use and the fixed charges. So all you need do is log your usage, to see how it compares to their estimated usage - the one they are basing your charge on. That should give you a good indication of whether they are charging too much or too little and the likely adjustment.

    My original unmetered bill was immediately cut in a little less than two, then reduced by a little more after my first years metered use. The initial year's over charge was paid back into my direct debit account. My own figures indicate I am still overpaying, compared to my use this second year, so there will be another refund due at the year end.

    I keep a weekly spreadsheet of my gas and electric use, so it was not difficult to add water consumption figures and its cost to the sheets. My sheet shows me exactly how much each utility costs me week by week, plus a total weekly and annual costing.

    I have made absolutely no drastic efforts to reduce consumption, just quite minor things, such as converting toilets to dual flush and not deliberately leaving taps running.

    Agreeing to a meter install has saved me hundreds of pounds so far, so no complaints at all from me.
  • edited 21 March 2018 at 1:05PM
    LMS123LMS123 Forumite
    65 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    edited 21 March 2018 at 1:05PM
    There are 3 adults living in my small semi-detached house. A couple of years ago my monthly bill was over £45 so I looked into getting a water meter with United Utilities.
    Twice I went online and completed one of those questionnaires about whether to change to a meter and it estimated if I would save or not. Both times the result said I would have "marginal" savings, so I didn't bother.
    After speaking to others at work, I bit the bullet and had a meter installed as you can go back to the old billing method within 12 months if you're not happy. I don't know other water companies conditions.
    My monthly bills reduced from about £45 to £25! And we're not "tight" with using water, just using it as normal.
    Needless to say, I stay metered! But I wonder if the water company's "estimated calculation" err in their favour so that some customers, like me, don't bother to change to a meter as they think they won't save much, if anything.
  • harrym1bytharrym1byt Forumite
    51 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    My 1 person consumption estimate turned out eventually to be a little on the high side, none the less it did show a good saving so I jumped in. Once in they still charged a bit over for the first year, based on another lower estimate. My actual figure was much less and now, two years on, they base the charge on actual consumption figures.

    They were quick to refund any over payments back to the DD account.
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.8K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    you could download this great app which helped me save water and electricity and it is really simple to use
    https: / store/apps /details?id = smartView.Mobile

    This application is available on the Google Play store and has been really helpful thus far splendid app

    Kind Regards

    Kind Regards or not, you are in breach of MSE rules. - sorry.

    Verified users are spokespeople for their company. This status is granted entirely at MoneySavingExpert's discretion, following checks, where a company can help answer forum users' questions.

    Which type of companies and organisations are allowed?

    We generally limit this to household names with large customer numbers, companies that have been mentioned in the MoneySavingExpert content, or non-profit agencies we have a relationship with.
  • PennineAcutePennineAcute Forumite
    657 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Posts
    I asked for a water meter to be installed in my 1 bed flat, in 2011. I am saving around £60 a year.
  • lilolilly2lilolilly2 Forumite
    16 posts
    We are a couple in a 3 bedroom semi and switched to a meter over 12 months ago. We went from spending £60 per month to just over £3.00 per week. The first 6 months were estimated at £8.00 per week but after 6 months they read the bill then dropped the price to £3.50 per week so we are certainly please we swapped to a meter and wish we had of done years ago. The reason why we didn't is because of most people advising against them. Everybody's usage is different but if you know you don't generally use a lot of water then I would advise to swap to a meter.
  • harrym1bytharrym1byt Forumite
    51 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I (we two) are still saving lots of money on our bill. Our latest spending on average around £5 per week, which works out at around £260 per year. Our last pre-meter water bill was around £560 per year, but probably more by now.

    There are no house rules in place, other than not to waste water, both toilets duel-flush, use a water-butt when possible for garden, never allow taps to drip unfixed.
  • Not looked into this for a few years, but I am assuming the advice for a family with kids is still to avoid going onto a meter?

    We pay £55 per month currently, £660 per year. Just did the United Utilities calculator and it estimated it would be £1218 a year with a meter.
  • harrym1bytharrym1byt Forumite
    51 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    The calculator could be far off the mark.Much better to know what your actual consumption is, then calculate it from that. Might it be worth your while buying a meter of your own and fitting it, so you have a much better idea?

    I suggest this, without knowing if suitable meters can even be bought by the public.
  • The calculator estimated usage at 900ish whatever per day (can't remember the units).
    Anyone here with typical kids who get through a lot of water know what their daily usage is when on a meter?
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