Will a water meter save you money?

Not all households would be better off. We explain how to decide whether you should switch.
Using a sprinkler could mean that you have to get A Water Meter.
No one likes to pour money down the drain, but when it comes to water bills many of us are doing exactly that. Some people could save as much as £850 a year by switching to a water meter. But others could be seriously out of pocket 每 especially as prices across the country are about to rise by an average of 4.1pc.
Let*s look at a pensioner couple living in a semi-detached house in Torquay and their neighbors on the other side of the party wall, a couple with three young children. The pensioners use very little water; they wash up by hand, use the washing machine sparingly and don*t do a lot of gardening.
The family, by contrast, are heavy users, as they have a swimming pool and are keen gardeners, while their children 每 and their clothes 每 need frequent washing.
If neither house has a water meter, their bills for water and sewerage will be identical; they will both pay £1,288. That*s £471 for water and £817 for sewerage. But what happens if both decide to install a water meter?
The pensioners will probably use about 85 cubic meters of water per year. The cost of this in Torquay 每 which we*ve chosen because it falls within the South West Water region, whose rates are among the highest in the country 每 is £427, so they will save £861 or 33pc. (A more typical semi-detached household in South West Water*s region could expect to save about £500, the company said.)
A typical family of five uses 270 cubic meters per year, according to Ofwat. The pensioners* neighbors will want to fill their swimming pool, which takes 30 cubic meters, at least once a year, taking the total to 300 cubic meters. If they have a water meter installed, their new bill will be £539 for water and £819 for sewerage, a total of £1,358.
This is £70 more a year than they paid without a water meter 每 and it will cost them another £133 each time they fill the pool. The more they use, the more they lose out from having a water meter.
This example shows how important it is to look at the circumstances before deciding to switch to a water meter. The rule of thumb is that small families in big homes are likely to be better off having a water meter installed, while big families in small homes would probably be better off sticking to bills based on rateable value and avoiding a water meter.
If you have more bedrooms than occupants, say experts, you should probably get a water meter.
Many people try harder to use less water once they have a meter, knowing that every extra drop costs them money.
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