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Wessex Water and compulsory water meters?

(7 Posts)
Idefix Fri 17-Mar-17 13:35:36

Yesterday I called Wessex water to inform them we would be reactivating our old account. Since buying our house we have lived in another country and had rented out the property.

I was told by the call handler that this would mean we would have to have a compulsory water meter fitted. I asked where was the documented and available for me to read and I was directed to the page below.

www.wessexwater.co.uk/moving/

There was also another page saying the exact same thing that seems to have disappeared hmm.

When speaking to this call handler she was what I would describe as belligerent about it being mandatory and not optional. That it was fair to the company to have one etc. The conversation ended with a request that no engineer entered our property without our consent/presences.

I spent hours last night looking for information on government pages and ofwat. What I found was that in areas of high water stress the Secretary of State can ?authorise compulsory water meters. Wiltshire as far as I can see is not in such a category. No where could I find information on it being mandatory in my area.

I phoned again today and asked for definitive documentation regarding it being compulsory, the call handler was polite but unable to show me anything on the website that gave this information and did say that this was not acceptable. He went off for 10 minutes and told me that the legal impetus was in the water industry act. I had already read this and explained that it did not suggest this.

I was then told the water meter complaints department would be in touch and he would register my phone call as a complaint.

The company are it seems not being truthful or transparent I did say I understand that they have follow company policy when speaking to me but that it was immoral and unethical (probably the wrong terms) to not be able to back policies with legal documentation...ranting, sorry.

Now waiting for an email from them, requested no further telephone contact.

I know this isn't aibu? But am I?

If it is the law I won't be contesting it but really object to being treated like a unthinking dunce who won't notice anything approaching a legitimate rationale apart from it is one of the water boards targets.

prh47bridge Fri 17-Mar-17 16:04:35

According to Ofwat they can force you to have a meter. However, they can only use that meter for billing purposes if you consent or one of the following is true:

- you are the new occupier of a property
- you use an automatic watering device such as a sprinkler
- you automatically fill a swimming pool
- you have a power shower or an extra large bath
- you use a reverse osmosis water softening unit
- you live in a water stressed area

If none of the above applies they must continue to bill you as at present even if they install a meter.

Idefix Fri 17-Mar-17 17:00:26

Do you have a link for that prh?

If I continue not to consent will that mean they can't force me?

I would and do argue that we are not new occupiers but are reactivating our account as we owned the house prior to October 2016.

Apparently they won't bill me until the meter installed and I plan to argue against this for as long as they can't present me with compelling legislation.

Thank you for getting back to me, with regards to what you outlined is that applicable to all of England or just the Wessex area?

Idefix Fri 17-Mar-17 17:02:00

Doh just see you said ofwat, obviously missed this last night.

prh47bridge Fri 17-Mar-17 17:25:21

You can find the information on p19 of this document.

They can force you to have a meter regardless of your consent. Unless you fall into one of the categories I've listed they can't force you to accept being billed by meter.

Idefix Fri 17-Mar-17 19:00:48

Mmm looks like I will be made to have one even though I would argue that I am not a new occupier because we previously were paying the bill. I plan to go with that and see what happens.

I really don't understand why the water company have not got a link to this or are able to direct enquiries to this page. To me the lack of explicitly to this makes it terribly unclear. Having an aim is totally different to it mandatory etc.

Idefix Fri 17-Mar-17 19:01:28

Thank you for the link!

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