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    • darkvortex
    • By darkvortex 25th Feb 16, 11:35 AM
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    darkvortex
    Thames Water meters now compulsory?
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 16, 11:35 AM
    Thames Water meters now compulsory? 25th Feb 16 at 11:35 AM
    Hi people,
    Just looking for some advice, basically Thames water have sent a letter out saying they will be fitting SMART water meters in the next month or so.
    I did call them up to try to opt out but they say it is compulsory, Government backed and I have no opt out and also keep quoting 'Section 162 of the water indistry act 1991' even though a 2014 letter from DEFRA state it is not compulsory for water company's to install meters even in areas of severe water stress.

    They could not even answer exactly what other legistation they have and just said I need to search the Government legistation website.

    I did advise I would not give them access to the property if the meter needed to be installed on site but they said they will just install it on the outside of the property.

    Now put aside the point that a water meter is fair and probably would save money, I just prefer to pay a fixed rate a year (even if it increases per year).
    I just don't want a water meter and want to know if there is any legal way to challenge this installation as it seems unfair because at the end of the day Thames water are a monopoly (I can't just switch to better rates from an alternative supplier) and if they just fixed the 3-4 billion gallons of water lost from leaks they probably save more money instead of finding new ways to charge.

    thanks for any advice and apologises for the long post!

    A
Page 1
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 25th Feb 16, 11:38 AM
    • 33,064 Posts
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    Browntoa
    • #2
    • 25th Feb 16, 11:38 AM
    • #2
    • 25th Feb 16, 11:38 AM
    my water meter means I pay far less than the old standing charge


    don't see what your problem is unless you plan to fill a swimming pool
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    • darkvortex
    • By darkvortex 25th Feb 16, 12:02 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    darkvortex
    • #3
    • 25th Feb 16, 12:02 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Feb 16, 12:02 PM
    my water meter means I pay far less than the old standing charge


    don't see what your problem is unless you plan to fill a swimming pool
    Originally posted by Browntoa
    No I don't intend to fill a swimming pool but since there are 5 adults and 2 children living here we do use a fair amount of water (no we don't use hoses in the garden either as its paved over)
    I just prefer to pay a fixed rate whether or not its cheaper.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 25th Feb 16, 12:22 PM
    • 27,339 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #4
    • 25th Feb 16, 12:22 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Feb 16, 12:22 PM
    Hi people,
    even though a 2014 letter from DEFRA state it is not compulsory for water company's to install meters even in areas of severe water stress.



    Originally posted by darkvortex

    I think you are reading that the wrong way! Water companies don't have to install meters even in areas of severe water stress; however they can if they feel it is necessary. i.e. it is the water company's prerogative and not the customer's prerogative.


    If you want further clarification ask the Consumer Council for Water http://www.ccwater.org.uk/
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 25th Feb 16, 12:47 PM
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    Cardew
    • #5
    • 25th Feb 16, 12:47 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Feb 16, 12:47 PM
    Just a further point on this issue, unless you have been in the house since before April 1990, Thames Water could(and should) have fitted a compulsory meter on change of occupant. This was authorised in the Water Privatisation Act. The purpose of this provision was to eventually reach the position where virtually all properties were metered. However some companies didn't bother to enforce that provision; others did!

    I just don't want a water meter and want to know if there is any legal way to challenge this installation as it seems unfair because at the end of the day Thames water are a monopoly (I can't just switch to better rates from an alternative supplier)
    I can't agree with you that it is unfair. All properties built since April 1990 have to be metered and it was the declared intent of the Water Act that eventually all properties should be metered. The only reason for allowing properties to remain on Rateable Value in April 1990 was to prevent hardship for existing occupants caused by a big rise.

    Also the Rateable Value for houses in England/Wales was generally assessed in the 1960/70s. Any major improvement in the property should have been notified to the Water Company and a meter fitted. For instance your paved over garden is(with all similar properties) is of huge concern to water companies as the natural drainage into gardens is heavily reduced and the water flows into the storm drains.
    • JJAM
    • By JJAM 26th Jul 16, 4:06 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    JJAM
    • #6
    • 26th Jul 16, 4:06 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Jul 16, 4:06 PM
    Thames Water are unwilling to accept that what they're doing re smart meters is not legally mandatory. If you refuse to have a smart water meter fitted, even if you have given the engineer access to your property, they will put you on a "no access" annual charge of just under 594.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 26th Jul 16, 4:23 PM
    • 3,542 Posts
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    matelodave
    • #7
    • 26th Jul 16, 4:23 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Jul 16, 4:23 PM
    Look here from the Thames Water Q & A pages

    As a result our area has been classed as being seriously water stressed and the Secretary of State has granted water companies permission to fit water meters.
    An outline of this can be found in Ofwat!!!8217;s leaflet:
    Water meters - your questions answered (0.82Mb)
    Our powers to install meters can also be found in section 162 of the Water Industry Act 1991, which grants permission for water companies to meter domestic premises on a compulsory basis in areas which have been determined by the Secretary of State to be of serious water stress (this includes the Thames Water region).
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
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    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 26th Jul 16, 5:07 PM
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    GingerBob
    • #8
    • 26th Jul 16, 5:07 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Jul 16, 5:07 PM
    SMART water meters?
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 26th Jul 16, 5:48 PM
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    jack_pott
    • #9
    • 26th Jul 16, 5:48 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Jul 16, 5:48 PM
    it seems unfair
    Originally posted by darkvortex
    What's unfair is being able to use as much water as you like for a flat fee. Imagine how much food would cost if everyone could help themselves to anything they want for a flat fee. Regressive tariffs should be banned on all utilities, as they promote profligacy.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 26th Jul 16, 5:58 PM
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    GingerBob
    What's unfair is being able to use as much water as you like for a flat fee. Imagine how much food would cost if everyone could help themselves to anything they want for a flat fee. Regressive tariffs should be banned on all utilities, as they promote profligacy.
    Originally posted by jack_pott

    It's fair enough. I don't have a water meter (incidentally, house built in 1995). It rains incessantly in this country. Any shortage of water is caused by the government and water companies.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 26th Jul 16, 6:04 PM
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    Cardew
    SMART water meters?
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    For some years it has been possible to have water meters that can be read remotely - I have one as my meter is difficult to access.

    Smart water meters are an adaption of this technology such that customers can remotely monitor their own meter. See:

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/your-account/17386.htm
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 26th Jul 16, 6:08 PM
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    Cardew
    Any shortage of water is caused by the government and water companies.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    Do you suggest we should flood a few more Welsh valleys(and their villages) to make reservoirs?
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 26th Jul 16, 6:10 PM
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    GingerBob
    For some years it has been possible to have water meters that can be read remotely - I have one as my meter is difficult to access.

    Smart water meters are an adaption of this technology such that customers can remotely monitor their own meter. See:

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/your-account/17386.htm
    Originally posted by Cardew

    The website is a bit light on smart meter details:


    Are they compulsory? If so, can you restrict the frequency of automatic readings? These questions aren't answered.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 26th Jul 16, 6:11 PM
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    GingerBob
    Do you suggest we should flood a few more Welsh valleys(and their villages) to make reservoirs?
    Originally posted by Cardew

    No, just stop the leaks and invest in a national water grid.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 26th Jul 16, 11:48 PM
    • 27,339 Posts
    • 13,383 Thanks
    Cardew
    The website is a bit light on smart meter details:


    Are they compulsory? If so, can you restrict the frequency of automatic readings? These questions aren't answered.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    Yes they will be compulsory in Thames Water.

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/metering/17054.htm
    Last edited by Cardew; 26-07-2016 at 11:50 PM.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 27th Jul 16, 9:13 AM
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    GingerBob
    Yes they will be compulsory in Thames Water.

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/metering/17054.htm
    Originally posted by Cardew

    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.


    The website is also full of the usual tripe about the "benefits" of being able to monitor water usage - like we don't already know that when you flush the bog you use a load of water.


    Energy smart meters are not compulsory. How have these chancers at Thames managed to get them compulsory, I wonder? Or maybe they only have authority for compulsory metering, and not specifically smart meters.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 27th Jul 16, 11:04 AM
    • 27,339 Posts
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    Cardew
    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.


    The website is also full of the usual tripe about the "benefits" of being able to monitor water usage - like we don't already know that when you flush the bog you use a load of water.


    Energy smart meters are not compulsory. How have these chancers at Thames managed to get them compulsory, I wonder? Or maybe they only have authority for compulsory metering, and not specifically smart meters.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    If, as seems likely, they have the legal authority for compulsory fitting of meters, I doubt if the customer can stipulate what type of meter they want fitted. After all over the 26+ years meters have been mandatory in new build properties(with a couple of exceptions) there have been several types of meter used.

    We get loads of posts about suspected leaks on this forum - e.g. a silently leaking cistern - and a smart meter will enable people to know if there is a leak.
    • GingerBob
    • By GingerBob 27th Jul 16, 11:25 AM
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    GingerBob
    If, as seems likely, they have the legal authority for compulsory fitting of meters, I doubt if the customer can stipulate what type of meter they want fitted. After all over the 26+ years meters have been mandatory in new build properties(with a couple of exceptions) there have been several types of meter used.

    We get loads of posts about suspected leaks on this forum - e.g. a silently leaking cistern - and a smart meter will enable people to know if there is a leak.
    Originally posted by Cardew

    Yes, a few grey areas here. I wouldn't be surprised if you can object to the data collection frequency, or insist the meter doesn't operate in smart mode.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 27th Jul 16, 2:53 PM
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    jack_pott
    It's fair enough.
    Originally posted by GingerBob
    It's not fair to have the frugal subsidising the profligate, nor is it sensible.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 27th Jul 16, 3:19 PM
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    Cardew
    It's not fair to have the frugal subsidising the profligate, nor is it sensible.
    Originally posted by jack_pott
    I wasn't sure what GingerBob meant by his 'its fair enough' remark.

    Despite the vested interests of those without a meter, surely nobody can dispute that every property should be metered and occupants pay for what they use.

    The concession, in April 1990, to let people remain on Rateable Value(RV) based charges was to be a short term interim measure.
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