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Should I get a water meter?

Posted on May 8th 2019

Back in 2009, government body the Environment Agency recommended that every home should be installed with a water meter to reduce water consumption, by 2020. Although it’s not mandatory to have one of these installed, many people are doing so and they can, depending on your household size and water usage, save you money. You pay for only what you use, which some consumers believe is the fairest option, but are they a good idea for you? Here, we explore the benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits

You live in a low usage household and are conscientious about how much water you use

If you live in a small household with a small or no garden and are already careful about your water usage, then a smart meter could well save you money. If you’re the kind of household that turns off taps while teeth brushing, takes only showers and use water-efficient appliances, then a water meter could be a great option for you.

Also, if you’re already careful with water for environmental reasons, then a water meter could encourage and incentivise you to be even more that way inclined, as it’s reported that those with a water meter tend to consider water usage more carefully once they’re being billed for each drop!

No surprises there…

You can ask for a water meter free of charge from your supplier who will send someone to fit it for you.

You may save money on other bills

As well as using 10-15% less water, the average householder can expect to save some money on energy bills too, as around 40% of your energy costs are spent on heating it – whether that be through taps, bathing, showering as well as your washing machine and dishwasher use.

You can change your mind

However, if you have one installed and find that you don’t make savings and that perhaps your bills increase, then you can opt to have the meter removed within two years of installation – after this period you’ll have to keep the meter no matter the changing circumstances, so it’s worth bearing this in mind.

Early leak detection

If you have a leak somewhere in the water system, then this may be flagged early if you have a meter installed as the difference will show on your bill. However, domestic consumers are entitled to a “leakage allowance” so if there’s a proven leak you won’t have to pay.

Drawbacks

You live in a large or high usage household

If you live in a large household and use lots of water-intensive appliances regularly then it’s probably not worth switching as you will likely pay more, and not having a meter will also mean your bills are pretty much the same every month and you won’t get a nasty shock.

You will pay for leaks

Because the average water bill is an estimate, it will take into consideration leakages. Therefore, unlike those metered, you will pay indirectly for any water leakage.

It doesn’t allow for future change of circumstance after two years

If you have a water meter installed based on a two person occupancy but then go on to have a few children, it’s likely that your water usage will considerably increase, so it’s worth carefully considering whether you need a water meter or not.

Likewise, if you think you will be planning on selling your home in the future, then beware, particularly if you live in a family home, as a water meter could put buyers off…

We hope this has been useful and given you some insight, and if you need further advice around any heating issues then please feel free to contact our friendly customer service team at Diamond Gas & Heating and we’ll be happy to help.