Water Meter or Fixed Rate – What’s Right For You?

by | Jun 13, 2023 | blog

Water is one of the most essential resources required for human survival. As a result, water bills are a common household expense for people across the country.

There are two ways to pay for water usage: water meters and fixed-rate water bills. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each option, so you can make an informed decision about which payment method is best for you.

Water Meters

A water meter is a device that measures the amount of water you use and charges you accordingly. The amount you pay for water is directly proportional to the amount you use.

Water meters are installed by your water supplier and are usually located outside your property.


  • Accurate billing: One of the biggest advantages of water meters is that they provide accurate billing. You only pay for the water you use, so you won’t be overcharged or undercharged.
  • Incentive to conserve water: Water meters encourage people to conserve water. When you can see exactly how much water you’re using, you may be more mindful of your usage and take steps to reduce it. This can lead to lower bills and help the environment.
  • Fairness: Water meters promote fairness. People who use less water pay less, and people who use more water pay more. This means that those who use more water are paying their fair share.


  • Fluctuating bills: Water bills can fluctuate significantly with a meter. If you have a large family or use a lot of water, your bills could be high. If you have a small family or use very little water, your bills could be low. This can make it difficult to budget for your water bills.
  • Leakage charges: If you have a leak on your property, you’ll be charged for the water that’s lost. This can lead to unexpected bills and additional expenses. Whether you’re on a meter or fixed rate, a leak should be dealt with as soon as possible, searching plumbers near me should point you in the right direction.

Fixed-Rate Water Bills

A fixed-rate water bill is a set amount that you pay each month or quarter, regardless of how much water you use. The amount you pay is based on the rateable value of your property.


  • Predictable bills: One of the biggest advantages of fixed-rate water bills is that they’re predictable. You’ll know exactly how much you need to pay each month or quarter, which can help with budgeting.
  • No installations needed: Unlike water meters, you don’t need to install anything for fixed-rate water bills.
  • No leakage charges: With a fixed-rate water bill, you won’t be charged for any leaks on your property. This can provide peace of mind and help you avoid unexpected bills.


  • Inaccurate billing: Fixed-rate water bills are based on the rateable value of your property, not your actual water usage. This means that if you use less water than the average household, you may be paying more than you need to.
  • No incentive to conserve water: Fixed-rate water bills provide no incentive to conserve water. You’ll pay the same amount regardless of how much water you use. This can lead to wasteful habits and higher bills.
  • Unfairness: Fixed-rate water bills can be unfair. People who use more water pay the same amount as those who use less water. This means that those who use less water are subsidizing those who use more water.

Which is Right for me?

In conclusion, water meters and fixed-rate water bills both have their pros and cons. Water meters provide accurate billing and promote water conservation, but can lead to fluctuating bills.

Fixed-rate water bills provide predictable payments and need no installation, but can be inaccurate and promote wasteful habits.

Ultimately, the best payment method for you will depend on your household’s water usage and budget. It’s worth considering both options and doing some calculations to see which payment method would be more cost-effective in the long run.

In the UK, most water suppliers offer both water meters and fixed-rate water bills, so you have the flexibility to choose the payment method that works best for you.

If you’re unsure which payment method is best for you, it’s worth reaching out to your water supplier for advice. They may be able to provide you with more information about your options and help you make an informed decision.

Read through our useful guide for more information

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