Water meters could become compulsory

Water meter cover

Homeowners could be forced to install water meters if proposals being considered by the government get the green light.

Currently homeowners have the choice of paying annual water bills which are based on the size of the property, or they can pay for the amount they actually use with a meter. Caroline Spelman, environment secretary is expected to confirm the government's plans within the next few weeks.

Paying for water by a meter is generally considered to be fairer as it ensures you only pay for what you use. So while many light users could save money by installing a meter, larger families and keen gardeners could see the bills soar.

The rule of thumb has always been that if there are less people living in your house than there are bedrooms, you will pay less for your water with a water meter.

Watch our Moneywise TV episode: How to cut your water bill

The proposals come after Anna Walker, chairman of the Office of the Rail Regulator, conducted an independent review of the way households are charged for water and sewerage services in 2009.

She concluded that without water meters there was no way to incentivise people to reduce their water consumption and recommended that 80% of all English homes should be metered by 2020, up from 35% at present.

"Most of us find water and sewerage services cheap – less than a £1 per day for some households," she said. "But the future looks rather different, and in some parts of the country and for some people, the affordability of these services is already a significant issue.

"A combination of significant population growth, the effects of climate change and the need to renew what is often Victorian infrastructure will put increasing pressure on both the availability and the cost of water.

"We need to tackle these challenges now, before they become major problems. The charging system can play an important role in this."

Read: Slash your water bill

Your Comments

We always hear how things are going to cost far less by this government!but infact they always end up costing more! The water meter will not cost less for a family! when all the people in this country are on water meters, the water board will think of some way to get more money, because people will not be paying so much they say on meters. This is rubbish and lies!the only thing that these people do, and are allowed to do is to rip off the the people in this country. We are not stupid! and please don,t insult us by trying to come up with all kinds of excuses. It is the same with the energy companys! always excuses,but the only thing they are all care about is making a fast buck.

So. Cameron and his posh boys find another way to relieve us of hard earned cash. Which will of course be passed to his mates who run the water industry, a monopoly from which we have no escape...

Should our Government not be defending us from this kind of assualt on our limited and shrinking available capital.

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