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Water meters

(20 Posts)
hildajenniJ Wed 25-Feb-15 13:53:10

I have just had our water bill. It is huge. There are just the two of us in the house now. Would having a water meter reduce our bills? Do any of you have water metres, and would you recommend one?

MiniMouse Wed 25-Feb-15 13:59:03

We had a compulsory water meter fitted a couple of years ago. It's just the two of us and our bill reduced by about £150 the first year, but I think it will probably cost more this year. The first year, I was so terrified of a huge bill that I was very conscious of how much water we used. I'm ashamed to say that this year I haven't been quite as careful blush, though I'm definitely not extravagant and still try to be non-wasteful.

Charleygirl Wed 25-Feb-15 14:05:52

I live on my own in a 3 bedroom house and am well aware that I should have a meter fitted but every problem I have here appears to be water related and the tank has to be drained or like yesterday, the hot water had to be run for around 5 minutes, losing a lot of water. I also use the washing machine a lot so until metering is compulsory, I will stay as I am.

Liz46 Wed 25-Feb-15 14:22:48

We have had a water meter for about two years and our bill is much cheaper with it. There are two of us living in a three bedroomed house. There was an option to try it for a year but I don't know if they still do this.

kittylester Wed 25-Feb-15 15:20:08

When we had a water metre fitted (our choice and fitted free by SevernTrent) it was just DH and I living here and our bill halved. We are still not back up to the level we were pre meter even with DD and two toddlers living with us!

We were not given a choice of meters, we just asked and they did it. You get a one year cooling off period so can revert if you want to.

kittylester Wed 25-Feb-15 15:22:32

Should have also said that I was purposefully not careful with usage the first year so it was a true reflection!

J52 Wed 25-Feb-15 15:32:33

We have had one for 25 years, came with the house. It certainly makes you think about using water, especially in the garden. x

Galen Wed 25-Feb-15 15:38:01

My bill is less than half with a meter which I've had for 10 years.

Greyduster Wed 25-Feb-15 16:09:20

There was a meter in this house when we came here and like others on here, I was very conscious of every drop at first. We're more relaxed about it now and the bill is still about half of what it was in the old house, but we deliberately don't use our hosepipe on the garden, having two water butts which provide enough water.

MiniMouse Wed 25-Feb-15 17:07:42

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that we use water butts for the garden! Seven of them grin

JessM Wed 25-Feb-15 17:14:31

You will almost certainly be better off with a water meter - unless you do a lot of watering of your garden by hosepipe/sprinkler system, or washing your car frequently with a hose.
If you have a water meter you can reduce your bill by being sensible - e.g. don't run the tap continuously while you are cleaning teeth or peeling spuds, using a water butt in the garden, fixing any drips or leaky cisterns etc.
If you give your water company a call they should be able to give you a good idea of how much the difference is likely to be.
I've recently moved to a house where I cannot have a meter (shared pipe with next door) and it feels really weird. [sulking emoticon]

hildajenniJ Wed 25-Feb-15 17:57:27

Thanks everyone. We had pretty much decided to go with the meter, so you have helped us to decide. We will certainly apply when they send us the form to fill in. I will be very interested to see how much we can save.

granjura Wed 25-Feb-15 18:22:22

We saved loads of money after we had meter installed in UK. And as J52 says, it does make you a bit more respectful and careful of what you use.
We also installed water butts to use for garden.

Here where we live now- everyone is automatically on meter and we are charged per m3. We have installed 3 x 1000 litres water butts at the side of the house (where they can't be seen from the garden, and an electrical pump- and it works really well for the garden and the pond (much better for pond to have rain water than tap water which has a bit of chlorine in- as we have frogs, alpine newts and dragonfly larvae, etc in the pond).

JessM Wed 25-Feb-15 18:32:30

MY DH installed several water butts - not being a man to do things by half he installed as many as he could fit in. We never ran out of water, even in dry summers...
I once mused that is you set the cost of his water butts against the amount we saved in water bills it would take us a few decades to get our money back. So my advice is - yes a water butt is a good idea (as long as it drains a good area of roof) but don't go mad! grin

Anne58 Wed 25-Feb-15 18:39:43

As our house was new when we bought it in 2005, a water meter was compulsory.

I believe that if you don't have a meter, the water is charged in line with what used to be the rateable value of the house.

Some friends moved to a housing association bungalow and were getting large bills, so changed to a meter. Bills much lower now, and as they sometimes go away for 6 weeks at a time they are only paying for water they actually use.

However another friend refuses to go down that route as his house is a fair distance from the main, so there there is quite a bit of pipework that goes across his land. He worries that a leak could develop along the pipeline and that if he was unaware of it he could be charged for the water lost, if you see what I mean?

hilda it could be worth speaking to your local water authority. Ours (South West Water) has a policy whereby you can have a meter fitted for a specified period and if you find you are NOT saving money, it will be removed and you can revert to your current system.

suzied Wed 25-Feb-15 18:44:54

We have halved our bill with a water meter and we have a pond in the garden which we top up with a hose on a regular basis, but we don't have baths and there is only the 2 of us. ( we do shower!)

Anne58 Wed 25-Feb-15 18:47:34

Oops kitty I've more ore less repeated your advice re trial period etc!

harrigran Wed 25-Feb-15 23:39:01

I looked into having a meter and did the calculations on water company website, I estimated that I would be about £75 a year worse off by having a meter. My second home had a meter installed when it was built but as I am hardly ever there the cost is minimal.

ninathenana Thu 26-Feb-15 12:04:30

We had a compulsory meter fitted about 18mths ago. I must admit I was concerned about usage. We are 3 adults living in a 3 bed semi. I decided to carry on as before and see what the bill was like.
We pay monthly and the payments are a third of what we payed before the meter was installed.

janerowena Thu 26-Feb-15 12:33:57

I have a huge garden, and do use a lot of water despite having several water butts, so was amazed when our bill was reduced when we had a water meter fitted. There were three of us at home at the time, about 4 years ago, and two of us prefer baths to showers so it was a big relief and did make me wonder what they were basing estimated usage on. We were given the meter automatically, with the option to change back if we preferred.