Water bills could increase by £200


The Labour Government is planning to make it compulsory for water firms to install a water meter in every home so that the country can manage droughts. However, this could result in an increase of over £200 per annum on the average water bill.

The Government said the measure could reduce households’ water use by 10% while declaring that the average household water bill, which is presently £162, would decline.

Those benefiting from the change would be pensioners and single people as they use less water on average. An elderly person living alone in London and the South-East would pay £83.51 with a meter against the current average bill of £172. However, a family of 5 living in the same area could end up paying £291.79 a year compared to the current average of £172.

Furthermore, the cost of installing the meters is likely to cost over £1.3 billion but the Government say it is crucial to reduce the 150 litres of water used by the average Briton each day. Ministers hope that making it compulsory for water companies to install meters from 2010 will help reduce water usage by over 30%.

Currently, one third of Britain’s 26 millions homes have a water meter with the figure growing by approximately 2% each year.

The Labour Government also believe that meters should help consumers spot leaks, as sudden rises in the amount of water used will be more obvious. However, industry watchdogs argue that water companies should be forced to fix leaky pipes before expecting customers to use les water. Statistics show that water companies waste 3.42 billion litres each day through leaks from cracked pipes.

Many homeowners are already facing rising costs in their water bills as firms raise money to replace old pipes and sewers.

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