Approaches to Water Efficiency in New Homes
4 December 2023
Posted on 21 May 2021 2 min read
A water meter is a device fitted in your home which measures the amount of water you use. The cost of water meters differ as companies will charge you based on how many cubic metres of water your household uses over a period of time.
In 1990, it became compulsory for all new homes to be built with a water meter installed. Under the law, it is illegal for them to be removed. In order for your water company to calculate your bill and advise how much your water meter will cost, you need to know where your water meter is located, and provide them with a reading.
If you don’t have a water meter, they are free to install – simply get in touch with your water company to arrange a fitting.
If your home was built before 1990, you may not have a water meter. It is not compulsory for you to have one fitted, as the water company can estimate your monthly water usage based on its ‘rateable value’. This is how water bills used to be calculated.
Criteria for rateable values included the property’s size, and the area you live in. However, all homes were last assessed in 1973 and the rateable value has not been changed since.
If your property has a high rateable value, but there are only a small number of residents, it may be worth considering a water meter. This is because you will only pay for the water you use, and a couple or small family are likely to use less water than the rateable value estimates.
To figure out how to save money with a water meter, the Consumer Council for Water has created a free calculator. All you need to do is input the information about your home and the calculator will estimate your annual water bill, based on your usage. If the bill is lower than you are currently paying, it might be worth getting a water meter fitted to cut your cost.
Find out how you can cut your household costs and save money on products, repairs and replacements – click to spread the cost with one of our flexible payment plans.