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Some customers want to pay for the amount of water they use whereas others prefer the peace of mind of a set annual charge, regardless of their usage.
This section is packed full of information about water meters to help you decide whether or not it's right for you.
If you move to a property that already has a meter, unfortunately it's not possible to have the meter removed. Your charges will be based on the meter at that property.
There's plenty of ways for you to submit your latest readings.
Water meters are very reliable and are tested before they leave the factory to ensure that they meet the required British and European standards.
We usually install new meters outside, next to the stop tap, close to the property/highway boundary.
The meter can also be found inside the property or outside, adjacent to the property wall.
The meter and its connections belong to us, and we look after any repairs or replacements at our cost. You need to be aware it’s an offence for anyone to tamper with it, or to do anything which may prevent it from recording accurately.
Customers whose houses have been built since 1990 have water meters. These are normally fitted outside next to the external stop tap.
Many other customers have chosen to have a meter fitted rather than continue to pay charges based upon the rateable value of their home. In these circumstances the meters were often fitted inside, typically near the internal stop tap.
Additionally customers with a swimming pool or fixed garden sprinkler must have a meter.
If you move into a property which already has a water meter, you’ll pay charges based upon your water usage. We’ll read the meter and bill you according to how much water you use.
You can not change to rateable value charges if you've moved into a property that already has a water meter fitted.
You can apply online by filling out the form below or call us on 0345 1 24 24 24 to find out about having a meter fitted.
We guarantee to carry out a survey and fit a meter within three months of receiving your application. If we do not meet this timescale, we’ll only charge you meter standing charges for the period beginning 3 months from the date we receive your application to the date on which we actually install your meter.
Instalation is free, as long as the meter is fitted in our preferred location, based on ease of instalation.
We prefer to install meters outside close to the property/ highway boundary, typically near the external stop tap. We’ll advise you of our preferred location. If you’d like the meter installed in a different location, you may request this. Provided that your preferred location is practical, we’ll agree to this and you’ll be responsible for any additional costs incurred.
If we install a meter outside, we’ll reinstate the ground where we’ve carried out the excavation to a professional standard and we’ll try to match to the surrounding area the best we can. Colour and texture may, however, vary. All work carries a guarantee.
Any dispute about the location of the meter may be decided by an independent legal process (arbitration).
It may not be practical for us to fit a meter at or near your property. This may be because the pipework serving your property is complex or because there isn’t a suitable location. In these circumstances we’ll inform you that we’re unable to fit the meter and we’ll offer you the option of paying by assessed charge instead.
The assessed charge only applies where the customer has requested a meter but is unable to have one. The assessed charge relates to the type of property that you live in and whether you live alone. We’ll provide details of the assessed charge, so that you can decide whether to change to this instead of continuing on the rateable value.
If you decide to change to the assessed charge, this method of charge will also apply to any subsequent occupiers of your property. This is based upon the same principle that we would have applied if you’d been able to have a meter installed; namely that any subsequent occupiers would have been charged according to their metered water usage.
If you are a tenant and do not pay your charges direct to us, you will need to contact your landlord as it may not be possible to have a meter installed.
If you live in a multi-occupied property such as a block of flats, it may not be possible to install separate meters. We can install a single meter to produce a single bill if an individual or company is prepared to accept responsibility for payment.
If you decide to have a meter fitted, you can only go back to charges based on rateable value if you contact us within 12 months of the meter being fitted or within 28 days of receiving your bill for the first 12-month period of meter billing.
Should you decide to switch back to rateable value charges, you’ll remain liable for meter charges up until the time we receive your request.
We won’t remove the meter, so it’s there should you decide to go back to meter charges and when you move house, it’s there for the new occupants. They will then be billed according to their metered usage.
We understand a water meter might not be for everybody, which is why most of the time we offer a choice. Remember that you may only exercise your legal right to revert to rateable value charges on one occasion.
N.B If there was a water meter fitted in he property upon moving in, this can not be removed.
Download our guide to assessed charges and why we're unable to fit a water meter.
We aim to read each meter every six months and guarantee to do it at least once in every year, provided that we can gain access to do so. Many of our water meters, especially new ones are now automated which means we don’t need to gain access to your property to read it – we can pick up the reading signal by driving down your road. If we haven’t read your meter, we’ll send you an estimated bill based on how much water you’ve previously used.
You may wish to provide your own reading by going to our submit a meter reading page or use our automated telephone service on 0345 1 247 247. Alternatively, you can send your meter reading by text using your mobile phone. Just send your text to 07537 403008 with your reference number e.g. ref51234567012read1234.
Water meters are very reliable and are tested before they leave the factory to ensure that they meet the required British and European standards. It’s very unusual for them to over-record.
If your meter bill is higher than expected, it’s therefore more likely that there’s another reason why your meter has registered more water usage than normal.
We’re very confident in the accuracy of the meters we use, but you can request that we arrange to have the meter tested. We strongly advise that you check all other possibilities first, as our meters very rarely fail the tests.
You must pay the test fee in advance. We’ll then remove the meter and fit a new meter in its place. We’ll take the original meter to an approved testing centre. It will be tested at 5 flow rates on a water meter test rig, which is Trading Standards approved. If the meter is found to be outside the accuracy limits set by regulations under the Weights and Measures Act, it fails the test. The meter must operate with an accuracy band of + or – 6% at low rates and + or – 2.5% at higher flow rates.
This test will confirm if the meter is either working normally, under recording or over-recording. We’ll send a copy of the results to you. If the meter has failed the test, we’ll refund your test fee. If it was over-recording, we’ll also amend your bill. This will be backdated to the last occasion the meter was read by us. If it was under-recording, however, we’ll not adjust your bill.
We understand that some customers with a water meter find it difficult to pay their bills, because they need to use large amounts of water. If you receive certain benefits or tax credits and use large quantities of water, you may be eligible for our WaterSure tariff.
We determine who is eligible for this tariff using criteria set by the government. If you meet these requirements, then the charge that you’ll pay is a fixed amount per year, equivalent to the average household bill.
Read more about our WaterSure scheme in our Help paying your bill section.
We take a meter reading or make an estimate based on how much water you’ve used previously. So, you pay for the water you use in arrears.
We then add a standing charge for the quarter, for example from 1st April to 30th June, so you’ll usually pay some of it in advance. If we provide sewerage services for your home, we’ll also make a sewerage charge based on how much water you use plus a sewerage standing charge.
We send out meter bills quarterly, or you can pay by instalments throughout the year with our monthly Payment Plan. If you choose this, you’ll receive only one statement of account each year. You can also view your bills online
We understand that changing to a meter can be a big thing. That's why we have provided you with all the information you need to help you decide whether or not it's right for you. If you'd like a more accurate projection of what your water charges will be with a water meter try our online water meter calculator.
Download these handy guides to find out whether a meter is right for you.
As you can tell from our Water and Energy Calculator, there's always plenty of ways that you can continue to be more water efficient!
Now that you know what you use, why not take a look at our save water section in further depth which is jam packed full off videos and guides to help you save water and money.
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 is a charge of £121.17 + VAT.
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.
All our metering work is carried out by approved contractors and is guaranteed for 12 months.
Once you've understood all the information around getting your water meter fitted, please fill out our form below with all your details and we'll get back in touch as soon as possible.
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