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How to switch to a water meter

A water meter means you only pay for the water you use and you might make significant savings.

How to switch to a water meter

Generally, if there are fewer people living in your home than bedrooms – a water meter should save you money.

Ask yourself if a water meter is worth it

If you don’t have a water meter, you pay a fixed price for your water.

It doesn’t matter how much water you use, your bill won’t change. Instead, the bill is based on the ‘rateable value’ of your home.

Some people pay less with a meter, some don’t – it depends on your own situation.

Check if a meter might be cheaper

Find your bill, then contact your supplier or use the Water Meter Calculator on the Consumer Council for Water website 

You’ll get an estimate of how much your bills would be if you had a meter installed.

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Get a meter fitted for free

If you live in England or Wales, you can get a meter fitted for free.

Contact your water company to see if you would save, then fill in an application form by phone, post or online.

The water company will visit your home to see if it’s possible to fit a meter.

If so, they should fit it within three months. Although this might be longer during coronavirus lockdowns.

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In Northern Ireland, you’ll need to contact Northern Ireland Water

In Scotland, if you’re not on a water meter – your water bills are paid to your local council. This will usually be alongside your Council Tax.

If you choose to switch to a water meter, you’ll have to pay the cost of installing it yourself. Find out more on the Scottish Water website

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When you have your meter

Now you have your meter, you can use it to see if you can reduce your usage with some simple tricks.  

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Pick up some free water-saving gadgets

If you’re on a water meter and looking to save water, there are free gadgets available to help you save. Check the Thames Water website, or SaveWaterSaveMoney and enter your postcode to see what you’re entitled to.

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You can change your mind

If you switched to a meter and find that your bills are bigger - you can simply switch back to unmetered billing.

You just have to make sure you ask your company within the first year. They won’t take the meter away, but they will change your bills back.

What if you’re refused a meter?

If you do get refused a water meter, you can ask for assessed charges. You can be refused a water meter if your water company thinks it’s too difficult or expensive.

These assessed charges are based on the average bills paid by people with meter. So it’s worth checking it would be cheaper.

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Renters can switch too

Just because you’re renting, it doesn’t mean you can’t ask to switch. If your name’s on the water bills, you can ask for a water meter.

You don’t have to ask permission from your landlord if you have a short contract – but it’s probably a good idea to ask anyway.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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