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What Are The Benefits Of Water Meters?

Posted on: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Like electricity and heating fuel, water is not something most people can do without, therefore paying one of the water companies for the privilege of enjoying water on tap is a necessary evil. Unfortunately, because of the way water companies are run at present, householders cannot shop around for the best prices. But all is not lost: water meters can help householders make significant savings on their annual water bill. 

How do water meters work? 

Where there is no water meter, water companies calculate water bills based on the rateable value of a property, so the larger the property, the higher the bill will be. However this is not very exact since it does not take into account how many people actually live in the property-so if there is only one adult living in a four-bed house, clearly that person is likely to be paying too much for their water usage. Once a meter has been fitted, meter readings are taken (typically every three months) and the water company then issues a bill on the basis of water usage over that period. 

Is a water meter compulsory? 

A water meter is not compulsory, although some water companies are now fitting meters as standard. All homeowners and tenants have the right to ask their water company for a water meter and it costs nothing to have one fitted, although in the case of rental accommodation, tenants should obtain permission from their landlord first in order to avoid potential disputes at a later date.

What are the benefits of a having a water meter installed? 

In general, installation of a water meter is definitely worth considering in homes where there are less occupants than bedrooms and when water usage is not exceptionally high, but if in doubt about whether savings can be made, try one of the online calculators provided by the water companies to see what kind of bills you can expect to be paying once a meter has been fitted. 

Which households are more likely to save money with a water meter? 

Although water is often viewed as a renewable resource, it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on water usage regularly, particularly during times of droughts, since households where occupants have showers and not baths and don't waste water unnecessarily are likely to see savings; homes with swimming pools, lots of water features and extensive garden irrigation systems may end up paying more. 

Can a water meter be removed if it proves to be more expensive? 

Although most people find that they do save money when their water bill is based on actual usage as opposed to the property's rateable value, it is possible to ask that the water meter be removed during the first year. 

Are there any disadvantages to having a water meter fitted? 

Once a water meter has been installed, the householder becomes responsible for any leaks within the property. The first time a leak occurs, most water companies will fix it for free, but afterwards the householder will incur the repair costs, so paying for an annual insurance policy that covers such calamitous events is often money well spent.

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