Water bills – Water and waste water standing charges, bet you didn’t know this?


Author: Graham Mann, Water Audit Expert.


Water and waste water standing charges are based on the meter size, the larger the meter the larger the fixed standing charges.


Meter standing charges are highest in Scottish Water, so for instance the meter size often relates to the water supply pipe size 50mm pipe size 50mm water meter and so on.


The meter size in the picture is a 50mm meter, the size is embossed on the body of the meter, in this instance the water and waste water standing charges are £5,476 per year (based on Scottish Water rates). The next meter size up is 80mm meter or 3″, the fixed standing charges in this instance are £14,023 WOW that’s a big increase!


It does not stop there, add another 25mm or 1″ to a 100mm meter that’s a 4″ water meter and the fixed standing charges are £34,035 per annum.


Water and waste water standing charges - Water meter 50mm Do I have your attention now?


Just imagine for one moment your water supply is a 100mm or 4″ paying £34,035 per annum and I was to tell you dependant on your site’s water usage and flow profile I could save you £28,559 per year on your fixed standing charges – food for thought?


Here’s another example, if your water supply is 80mm or 3″ paying £14,023 per annum on fixed standing charges, again dependant on your annual water consumption and flow profile I could save you £11,559 per annum on your fixed standing charges.


In fact my estimation at least 50% of commercial customers in Scotland are being charged for larger water meters than they actually need.


Why is this?


As with most if not all water companies the size of the water meter that was originally installed was based on water supply pipe size and not the flow rate and demand of the site and when the site was originally constructed designers often increased water supply pipe size well beyond the requirements, even now this happens more often than not. This is particularly costly for business customers in Scotland as the fixed standing charges are the highest out of all water companies.


Reducing the water meter size reduces the annual standing charge –  so now you know  – consult a water audit expert and start saving!


The standing charges and savings figures are based on standard rates before any discount applied (if any)