MILLIONS of households are being offered a longer trial period to test whether a water meter could save them money – a move which has received strong support from the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
The water watchdog has welcomed the decision taken by nine water companies to give customers two years to try out a water meter and switch back for free if they decide it’s not for them.1
The extension to the previous one-year trial period was introduced this month by Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water, Wessex Water, South West Water, Bristol Water, Bournemouth Water, Portsmouth Water, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water, following negotiations with CCWater.
Andy White, Senior Policy Manager at the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Giving customers a longer trial period is a great way to encourage more households to take the plunge and try a meter.
“Water meters won’t benefit everyone but in some cases people can save more than £100 a year. But even a much smaller saving could make all the difference to the one in eight customers who tell us their water bill is unaffordable.”
Almost half of households across England and Wales are currently charged for their water using a meter.
As a general rule of thumb you are more likely to save money with a meter if you have more bedrooms than people living in your property. But an even better way to check if you might save is to join the thousands of people who use CCWater’s water meter calculator every month at www.ccwater.org.uk
Thirteen water companies now offer a two-year free switching trial with Northumbrian Water, Essex and Suffolk Water, Anglian Water and United Utilities having already adopted this approach.
And CCWater has pledged to continue to press other water companies to follow suit, apart from in areas of the South East of England where universal metering programmes are already in place.2
Customers interested in trialling a water meter should contact their water company.
For more information or to arrange an interview call the CCWater media team on 0121 345 1005.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1 The same occupier who requested a meter is allowed to switch back to unmeasured charges for free within two years. But the water meter is not removed from the property and metered charges would apply to all future occupiers.
2 Customers of Southern Water, South East Water, Affinity Water and Thames Water do not have the option to switch back to unmeasured charges due to the companies’ compulsory metering programmes.