Frequently asked questions about water meters
Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions about our water meters.
- If your property is metered, the reference number on your bill will start with 5 and the meter serial number will be shown on your bill.
- If you move into a property which already had a water meter, the meter will remain in the property and we'll calculate your charges on a metered basis.
You can't have the meter removed, and you don't have the option of reverting to unmetered services.
All new properties are metered.
- The serial number will be shown on your bill. If you run a tap, the dial on top of your meter should spin.
There are lots of ways you can save water in your home and in return it might help you save money off your other utility bills too! We also offer free water saving kits to help you save water in your home. To order your FREE water saving pack and for tips on how to save water, money and energy click here.
- Your meter is most likely to be found next to the internal stop tap, usually under your kitchen sink or in the garage or it may be outside under a small manhole.
- There are 3 likely locations for a water meter:
- Inside the property
- Outside, adjacent to the property wall
- Outside, next to the stop tap, close to the property/highway boundary.
We'll take your meter reading at least once a year but if your meter is inside and you are not at home when we visit we'll leave a card so you can send us your own reading.If you don't think it's safe to read your meter, please give us a call and we'll come out and do it for you.
Please see the meter reading section of our website for information on reading your meter and sending the reading to us.
- Our meters record in cubic metres and measure how much water we've supplied to your home.
This means that when you receive your bill, you pay for the amount of water you've used, plus standing charges and sewerage charges. Charges will normally start from the date we install the meter, and we'll credit or refund any overpayments you've made against your non metered charges.
- To estimate what your metered supply charges may be, please see our water meter calculator.
If you pay quarterly, you will pay the full balance when your receive your bill. If you wish to pay by instalments your instalments will be calculated based on your estimated annual usage.
- For existing customers, if you decide you'd like a water meter installed we normally do it for free, provided that we can fit it in our preferred location. If you'd like us to fit the meter in a different location there may be a charge.
If, when we survey your property, we can't fit a meter or the installation would involve a lot of expense or disruption, we'll contact you to discuss the options available.
- The meter reading is only transmitted when we ask for one, which is usually twice per year. The signal is encrypted and doesn't contain any of your customer details.
The signal uses a very low frequency that can only be used for meter reading. For comparison, the signal strength is the same or lower than the one that opens your car door or operates a wireless doorbell. The government regulates us to make sure that we are operating well within safety standards.
When the water industry was privatised we continued to collect in advance. Had we not done this, additional funding would have been needed and the cost of borrowing passed on to customers in the form of increased charges. We offer a range of different payment options so you can spread your bill over the year.
The meter and its connections belong to us, and we look after any repairs or replacements at our cost. It's an offence to tamper with the meter or to do anything which may stop it from recording accurately.
- Under the current terms of our free domestic meter option scheme we're unable to amend your charges until a meter has been installed or 90 days have passed from the receipt of your application. It normally takes around 30 days (may be more in March, April and May) for the meter to be fitted. If it takes us longer than 90 days to fit your meter your metered charge will start from the 90th day. We can't amend your charges until the meter survey has been completed or 90 days have passed.
- We aim to read each meter every six months and guarantee to do it at least once in every financial year.
If we haven't read your meter, we'll send you an estimated bill based on how much water you usually use at that time of year.
If you prefer to provide your own reading please only read your meter if it is inside your home and it is safe for you to do. If your meter is outside then please leave it to us.
To send us your reading, please
- Go to our Provide Meter Reading section
- Or use our automated telephone service on 0345 1 247 247
- Or you can send your meter reading by text to 07537 403008 with your reference number e.g. ref51234567012read1234
- Or contact us online by our Live Chat service
- Or arrange a free call back at a time to suit you
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Did you know: The average customer who installed a meter saved over £100 per year.Request a water meter