Saturday, May 20, 2006

Thames Water - why water metering needs to be mandatory

Just received a slightly irritating letter from Thames Water cheerfully suggesting: "Let's beat the drought together". At no point in the letter do they suggest that customers should ask to have a free water meter installed. Yet when people actually pay for the volume they use, they do actually use 10-20% less on average. Even in the advice on saving water section on their web site they decline to suggest it. But meters are essential for fair charging for water, efficient use and sensible tariffs.

Water companies have reasons to avoid water metering. Though they are the main player in the water-stressed South East, Thames still expect to have less than 60% of houses on meters by 2030. I think we rely too much on the water companies to decide on water-metering and promote it only as a last resort. It should just be made mandatory as part of the water supply licences, with new legislation if necessary.


Anonymous said...

Thames Water say they want to meter people but that is rubbish. In 2005 I moved from a property with a water meter and was shocked by what they wanted to charge me under the rateable system. I contacted them and asked that a water meter be fitted. Now over 2 years later I am still waiting for the meter. Its just a shame that there debt collection department is on the ball and is threatening me with legal action after falling behind with my payments for water I'm not using.


Clive Bates said...

Nicky.... I couldn't agree more with you point... they have strong economic incentives to limit the amount of metering, and you are on the wrong end of that.