Today a contractor turned up on behalf of South East Water and installed a water meter at my request. It was a pretty quick and easy job and the water meter was actually installed at the point in the public highway (the footpath at the end of my drive actually) where the water pipes into my property rather than in the house as I had suspected (I was concerned it would be yet another a big ugly box just like the gas and electric meters that take up space inside an understairs cupboard in the hallway)
I have to admit, the main reason for getting a water meter installed was a financial one. Currently I occupy a 3-bedroomed semi-detached house on my own whilst my better half and daughter spend an extended period of time abroad. The local council reduce my council tax rates for single occupancy but the water company do not. The annual bill for water is approximately £320 and that is based on the rateable value of the property.
Somewhere down the line you can only assume that the water companies have estimated the average use and cost of water supply, drainage and sewerage for a typical 3-bed semi with X amount of people living there. In my case that doesn't apply so it makes pefect sense to be metered - So, presumably, the cost of my water bills should come down.
Now here's the green bit...
Because this is a green-thinking household there is a bath in the house but showers are more than 99% of the time. A shower uses a third of the volume of water that a bath does (plus it's quicker to take a shower than run a bath, as we all know) OK, there is a Turner Monsoon pump fitted to boost the water pressure of the shower (and it uses electricity) but that's because the water pressure is really pathetic in the bathroom and it's virtually unusable without a boost. Continuing to have showers rather than baths will keep the water consumption down. Winner.
Then there's the fact that a low-flush toilet was installed in the bathroom, the only WC in the house. Not only does it use less water to flush than the previous Armitage Shanks cistern from 1964 but it has a dual-flush that uses less water (depending on whether you flush number 1s or number 2s ;-) ). Winner #2.
Also, by not driving a car, partly out of green choice, partly for health & fitness and partly for financial reasons, the cars don't get washed. Winner #3.
And then there's the water butt in the garden. Because the local council had a great deal on a compost bin we saved enough money to have a water butt purchased & delivered for the same cost as had we just had the composting bin on its own. Winner #4.
So it looks like this could be a win-win situation - Not only does this household save water but it saves money too. If you're green and you haven't got a water meter installed then it might be time to consider doing so. I'll keep you posted as to how long it is before the water company start reducing our water bills - you know what these big companies are like when it comes to letting go of your cash...
Footnote: I just had a look at the volumetric water meter manufacturer's website. Being a marketing guy myself I wasn't totally enamoured at the language used for the V210 meter:
V200 and V210 volumetric meters are designed to maximise revenue collection.
Now I know the website is not consumer-focused but when they stumble across the term "maximise revenue collection" it doesn't sound fair does it? Maybe I should suggest to the manufacturer that they use the term "optimise revenue collection" - that would be far more agreeable, don't you think?