Water Meters - Good or Bad?

Water Meter - The Case For 

Welsh Water (Dŵr Cymru) supply our potable water and take away our sewerage and waste water. For 2020/21, the cost would be £1,143.92 based on the rateable value (RV) of the property. With only two of us living here now, the option to install a water meter, and just pay for what we use, had to be considered. Fortunately, this would not be an irreversible decision because we could revert back to the RV system anytime within 2 years of having the meter installed.

We consider ourselves to be relatively frugal with our use of potable water in the house but we're a little concerned about the amount used in the garden. We use an automatic washing machine and a dishwasher though both are fairly new and, at least, A-class efficiency. We take showers rather than baths, have water-saving toilets and do not wash the car. All water companies offer a 'calculator' to estimate your water usage and this indicated our metered water bill would be about half the cost of the RV-based one. While the 'calculator' was probably reasonably accurate, humans often show a response bias when answering surveys: for example, underestimating how much they drink, overestimating how much they exercise. Hopefully, we were being honest and realistic in our responses!

Currently, Welsh Water charge £1.3689 per cubic metre (1000 litres) for potable water and £1.6531 per cubic metre for sewerage. In addition, there are daily service charges of  £0.1052 (potable) and  £0.2563 (sewerage). If I subtract the fixed annual service charge (£131.92) from my original RV-based cost of £1,143.92, I can expect to save money provided I spend less than £1012.00 on metered water/sewerage charges. This works out at 335 cubic metres per year or 28 cubic metres per month.

Water Meter - Installation and First Impressions

The meter was installed on the 18th March 2020; just before the COVID-19 lockdown. The engineer asked to see the position of the mains stopcock and then spent 15 minutes cleaning out the outside access point and fitting the water meter. Quick and easy although access to read the meter was not very convenient.


In order to establish typical usage levels (and check for leakages), I have taken meter readings at monthly intervals.

Date 18/3/20 18/4/20 18/5/20 19/6/20
Meter 00000 00008 00020 00032
Spring 2020 has been very dry so I anticipate water usage has been higher than normal (unless drier springs and summers are the 'new' normal). At the moment, installing a water meter is proving to be a money-saving option.

1 comment:

  1. Water meter readings for 18/7/20 and 19/9/20 were 00042 and 00059 respectively. The first 6 months water usage is therefore 59 cubic meters or just under 10 cubic meters per month on average. Provided I resist the urge to wash the car or powerwash the drive then I expect water usage to decrease even further as we enter the autumn and winter seasons. The question I'm asking myself is why did I not do this earlier!


Popular Posts