HOUSEHOLDS across Wales 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 Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Dee Valley Water and Severn Trent Water to give their customers two years to try out a water meter and switch back for free if they decide it’s not for them.1
The companies had previously offered customers a one-year trial but have extended this, following negotiations with CCWater.
Tom Taylor, Wales Chair for CCWater, 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. Even a much smaller saving could make a big difference to customers who are struggling to pay.”
Julia Cherrett, Managing Director of Welsh Water’s Retail Services, said: “As a company owned on behalf of its customers, we are keen to help ensure that our bills are as affordable as possible to our customers.
“We realise that some customers may benefit from meters and this is why we have decided to extend the length of time a customer can try out a water meter and switch back if they decide it’s not for them. Customers do not have to pay anything for installation, even if they switch back.”
Around 40 per cent of households supplied by Dŵr Cymru and Severn Trent currently pay metered charges, along with nearly 60 per cent of Dee Valley customers.
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
All water companies in Wales offer a range of schemes and tariffs to support customers struggling to pay their bills. Get in touch with your company for advice and more information about switching to a meter.
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.