Just received a slightly irritating letter from Thames Water cheerfully suggesting: “Let’s beat the drought together”. At no point in the letter do they suggest that customers should ask to have a free water meter installed. Yet when people actually pay for the volume they use, they do actually use 10-20% less on average. Even in the advice on saving water section on their web site they decline to suggest it. But meters are essential for fair charging for water, efficient use and sensible tariffs.
Water companies have reasons to avoid water metering. Though they are the main player in the water-stressed South East, Thames still expect to have less than 60% of houses on meters by 2030. I think we rely too much on the water companies to decide on water-metering and promote it only as a last resort. It should just be made mandatory as part of the water supply licences, with new legislation if necessary.