Every home in the UK has meters that measure energy usage, but only about half have a water meter fitted. If you don’t currently have one, installing a water meter could reduce your monthly bills significantly. This depends on a few different factors though, so we’ve put together a simple guide you can use to check if installing a water meter would save you money.
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- Our top tips for saving water at home
- Find out what bill support you’re entitled to and when you will be paid
- Can I choose my water supplier?
Do I have a water meter?
Unlike energy meters, which are usually easy to find, a water meter could be under your sink, outside mounted on a wall or even under the pavement outside your property. You can check if you have a meter by looking at your water bill to see how your charges have been calculated, or by checking the move-in inventory for your property.
If you do have a meter, your water company will usually come to take a reading every 6-12 months.
Could I save by installing a water meter?
If you don’t have a meter, your water bill will be based on the average usage for a property of the same size and in the same area. If you suspect you use less water than average then you might be able to save by installing a water meter.
A good rule of thumb, given by money saving expert Martin Lewis, is that if you have the same number of bedrooms as people living in the house, or more bedrooms than people, you can probably save with a meter.
Water meter calculator
You don’t need to rely on guesswork though, because the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) has a free water meter calculator that anyone can use.
Simply fill in a few key details about your property and your current bills and the CCW will calculate if it would be cheaper for you to switch to metered usage.
How can I have a water meter installed?
Once you’ve decided you would like one, installing a water meter is a fairly straightforward service. It’s also free if you live in England or Wales, but customers in Scotland will have to pay £300, as Scottish Water is regulated independently from the rest of the UK.
Your water supplier will have a form on their website to request a water meter. Otherwise, you can reach out to them directly by phone, email or live chat. Once you’ve made your request, your new meter should be fitted within three months.
What if installing a water meter increases my bills?
You will have a 12-month period after installing your meter during which you can switch back. Some suppliers, such as Thames Water, will send you a quarterly comparison of your bills so you can make sure you’re saving.
Severn Trent Water, among other suppliers, offers an extended 24-month period to trial your new meter. If you find that you haven’t saved after installing a water meter you can change back to paying based on typical usage at any time during this period.