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Compulsory Water Meters -- Rules?

(19 Posts)
pusspusslet Sat 16-May-15 13:00:06

Hi there,

I'd be grateful for any advice or pointers on this. I've searched the site and I'm hoping I've put it in the right place. It's a very long story so I've deliberately kept to the parts that seem to be relevant for these two questions. The questions are:

1. can United Utilities insist on installing a water meter in my sister's flat AND using it to impose a metered charge on her?

2. If they can insist on installing a water meter, can they insist that it is a smart meter i.e. the one that uses radio waves?

My sister lives alone in a small rented flat which is part of a larger converted house. She's been there since 2011. Since that time she's had constant problems with United Utilities re: water. It's a long story and I'm not sure of all the details, but the bit I'm asking about is clear.

UU are trying to force her to allow them to install a water meter. She doesn't want one. We've found the OFWAT information document 'Water Meters - Your Questions Answered' and it says:

- water companies can choose to install water meters in people's homes, BUT
- they can't charge the occupier by using the meter (i.e. impose a metered charge) if they have already sent the user an unmetered bill.

I assume this means that they'd be able to insist on metered charges for my sister's successor, but not for my sister since they have sent her an unmetered bill since she moved in. She still has it. They say it was a mistake.

Does anyone know where there's any info on this, or an existing discussion? I've not been able to find anything that suggests that the OFWAT document is out of date (it's 2013) but UU keeping arguing about it.

Many thanks for any help.

TalkinPeace Sat 16-May-15 16:39:56

I cannot see what the problem is.
She pays for gas, electric and phone as per usage.
Why not water?

RandomMess Sat 16-May-15 16:42:12

I would say your assumptions are correct. They cannot charge her on the meter as she has previously had an unmetered bill.

However she may find the meter cheaper tbh!

sideshowbob2 Sat 16-May-15 16:48:06

water meter's are fab when you live on your own and work full time, i used to pay over £45 month before my water meter, now just over £20 a month since my water meter!!

pusspusslet Sun 17-May-15 08:05:23

Many thank, all of you.

Noeuf Sun 17-May-15 08:14:19

so we've lived here ten years and six months ago they installed water meters on the street. I had no idea we could object to the new bills.

Felinealarmclock Wed 20-May-15 00:25:28

What's the issue? Our water meter has saved us loads!

annielostit Wed 20-May-15 06:42:08

Our metered water is less than rates. My friends pay near £50- month we pay £36 for 3 adult household.

Pispcina Wed 20-May-15 06:47:40

Sorry not to know much about it but in my experience, charges without a meter can be outrageous - my company tried to charge £35 a month when actually, we used around £7 after having the meter fitted. (which I had to insist they did, and they took their time and faffed about no end)

We moved recently and again, had a meter put in and we're using less than a fiver a month here, while they tried to charge the 'minimum average' of £20. In fact we've had to have the meter inspected three times because they assumed it can't be working hmm

I would be cautious about refusing one in the light of this. I hope that your sister manages to sort out the other issues though, it sounds like a nightmare.

CountingThePennies Wed 20-May-15 06:54:30

I wish i wasnt on a meter. For our property it would be around £25 a month if we was not on a meter. We pay £60 a month on a meter for 2 adults and 1 toddler.

Pispcina Wed 20-May-15 06:57:51

Counting, that sounds expensive. Do you think there might be a mistake somewhere?

CountingThePennies Wed 20-May-15 07:23:41

Im now thinking there may be a leak. Im going to investigate today

Pispcina Wed 20-May-15 07:33:10

Unless you're having about 6 power showers per day and using a sprinkler I'd say that is a possibility! Good luck.

annielostit Wed 20-May-15 10:24:56

That sounds loads counting, we've got a teenager who doesn't know 'a quick shower'. I wash about 12 loads a week too.

RandomMess Wed 20-May-15 12:35:40

Counting that is just unbelievable tbh we have 3 adults, 2 pre-teens & a 9 year old and we're using less than �60 per month and per unit charge is notable higher then where we used to live!

MinimumPayment Wed 20-May-15 12:43:59

What is your sister's objection OP?

As others, I think she'd be better off with a meter.

janinlondon Wed 20-May-15 12:51:26

We would be massively worse off with a meter. 200 people chiming in with "I'm better off" is not much use to the OP. It really isn't black and white. Are the company trying to charge for the SAME water as the bill applies to, or is the metered reading for subsequent use? I think this may be the crucial point. Also, if the landlord has agreed to the meter being installed I think the renter may be scuppered? Sorry OP - Not sure at all on either point, but they are worth considering?

TalkinPeace Wed 20-May-15 17:39:02

Do you pay your gas, electric and phone by usage?
Why not water?

MinimumPayment Wed 20-May-15 18:48:35

Of course some families will be worse off with a water meter, but it's highly unlikely that a single person without a garden would be.

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