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i This information applies across the UK

Using a water meter to save money

Installing a water meter may save you money and help you get back on track if you’re struggling to regularly pay your water bill, or have arrears on your account. Find out if this is an option for you.

Also, new water meters can be read remotely by your water supplier. This means that you don’t have to provide them with a regular water reading. Also, water meters are no bigger than a tin of baked beans, so they shouldn’t take up lots of room in your home.

How much does it cost to install a water meter?

If your water meter is installed within the home, it won’t cost you anything. There may be a fee for installing it outside, but your water supplier can guide you through this.

Who can apply for a water meter?

If you own your own home, you’re eligible for a free water meter. If you’re renting or have a fixed contract, you can also apply. However, if your tenancy agreement is less than six months, you must get your landlord’s permission to apply.

How do I apply?

You can apply online by visiting your water provider’s website. You can also call them for person-to-person meter advice.

How does my bill work with a meter?

Unlike with an estimated bill, having a water meter means you’re only billed for the amount of water that you use.

Once the water meter’s installed, your water provider will send a bill every six months for the water you’ve used. The bill could arrive at any time within the first six months of your meter being fitted, depending on when your meter reading is taken.

If you already pay by Direct Debit, then you can carry on as normal. It’s always worth paying your bills by Direct Debit if possible, as you may receive a discount on your bill.


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I’m based in Scotland. Can I get a water meter?

If you’re based in Scotland, it’s likely that you pay your water bill through your council tax.

Switching to a water meter may only be worthwhile if you find that you could pay less than paying for water through your council tax bill. Scottish Water can talk you through this process.

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Do I qualify for Watersure?

Watersure is a scheme that can make water bills more manageable for some people on low income. If you qualify for Watersure, you won’t pay any more than the average metered bill for the area covered by your water supplier. You may find however that you can pay less on your water without being signed up. In this case, you wouldn’t qualify for the scheme.

  • To qualify, you must: 
  • be claiming certain benefits (the regulator OFWAT can give further guidance on this on their website).
  • have high water needs (e.g. medical reasons or having three or more school-aged children in the household)
  • have a water meter or be in the process of having one installed 

Please visit the Citizens Advice website for more information on Watersure, which benefits would qualify you for the scheme, and how to apply. Your water supplier may also be able to help.

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Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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