Compulsory water meters designed to cut consumption

Government ministers are expected unveil proposals that will make water meters compulsory in all homes. It is hoped the move will cut water consumption from 148 litres to 130 per person per day by the year 2030.

Unfortunately, the cost of installing each meter (roughly £200 per house) is likely to fall to the consumer.

Water meters could be compulsory if government proposals are accepted
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Currently households without a meter pay a fixed annual sum based on the rateable value of their home, while those who already have a meter installed pay only for the water they use.

Concerns have been raised over the vastly inflated bills paid by those without a water meter, some of whom are paying up to £300 more than their metered neighbours. And in light of these figures, critics have accused the water industry of using high prices to push householders into having a meter installed.

Civil servant Anna Walker, who prepared a report on metering for ministers, is in favour of more installations.

She told the Daily Mail: "Most of us find water and sewerage services cheap - less than £1 per day for some households. A combination of significant population growth, the effects of climate change and the need to renew what is often Victorian infrastructure will put increasing pressure on both the availability and the cost of water.

"Charging by volume of water used is the most effective way of incentivising the efficient use of water."

But while a meter will almost certainly benefit the elderly and others who live alone, large families are likely to find their bills rising. And for those families already struggling to pay the bills, the extra cost of installation as well as an increase in their water bill, may prove a price rise too far.

What do you think? Are you in favour of compulsory water meters? Let us know below...