UK government to facilitate compulsory water metering

Aug. 22, 2007
The UK government has announced that compulsory water metering will become an option for water companies in areas of serious water stress. This decision has been made in consultation with stakeholders including Water UK. Water UK supports the more flexible and company-specific approach to meter installation described in the consultation. Water meters are one of a range of tools available for managing demand cost-effectively. Current policy, which permits meters to be fitted...

LONDON, Aug. 17, 2007 -- The UK government has announced that compulsory water metering will become an option for water companies in areas of serious water stress. This decision has been made in consultation with stakeholders including Water UK.

Water UK supports the more flexible and company-specific approach to meter installation described in the consultation. Water meters are one of a range of tools available for managing demand cost-effectively.

Current policy, which permits meters to be fitted only in limited circumstances (to new properties; at the request of a householder; when swimming pools or certain devices are in use) is inefficient from an environmental and economic perspective.

Research has shown that in some cases water consumption can drop by 10-15% in dwellings that are metered. As more strain is put on our water resources, due to an increasing population, a reduction in consumption is a desired outcome.

Currently most domestic customers can choose to have a meter fitted. This scatter-gun approach to metering increases costs for water companies as there is no economies of scale. Compulsory metering will also allow companies to adapt policy to specific environments.

The Water Savings Group developed the compulsory water metering proposal. The group is a Defra-led stakeholder group with key water industry stakeholders working together to improve water efficiency in households. Water UK is a member of the group along with Ofwat, The Environment Agency, Consumer Council for Water, Waterwise, water companies and Communities and Local Government.

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Also see:
-- Briefing paper on water meters
-- "Water metering to become an option in long term plans"

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