The Defra consultation on metering in areas of serious water stress will certainly raise the awareness of compulsory metering as a water resource management tool. It is a welcome step forward.
It is difficult to think of a less efficient or sensible basis for water companies to extend metering than the current arrangements which include sneaking into homes on completion day, or waiting to be informed by a householder who has installed a swimming pool!
A more streamlined and strategic process is a good thing. The fundamental test of cost-effectiveness will still need to be met. Metering Consultation pdf
Metering is but one of a range of demand management options and has a cost, which must be weighed against the benefit of reduced water consumption. That’s why a flexible and company-specific approach, building on the proposals in the consultation, is the most sensible way forward.
As the Minister has said, it is also crucial to consider the impact on large low-income households if compulsory metering in areas of serious water stress goes ahead.
Contact: Bruce Horton