Everything you need to understand about...
Business Water Meters

This is The Business Water Shop’s guide on water meters. Nearly every business in England and Scotland will have to pay business water charges, and a lot of the businesses will have water meters installed on their property.

This guide will show you the ins and outs of water meters and help give you more information on how they operate.

What is a water meter?

A water meter is an essential device for monitoring the amount of water used by businesses.  The majority of businesses in England and Scotland have a water meter installed to measure the usage of water on their property.

Usually, businesses will have their water meter located where the main water pipe enters the site boundary. If you are unsure where your water meter is located then you can use our Locate your water meter service to try and find it.

How does a water supplier work out my water usage charges from the water meter?

Part of the makeup of your business water rate charges is based on the amount of water that your business uses and the amount of wastewater that your business puts back down the drain. This is measured by your business water meter.

On the front of your business water meter, there is a dial and this measures the volume of water that passes through the meter, enabling your water supplier to bill you accurately for what you use. The water is measured in cubic meters (m3).

You will then be charged for a rate for your water usage by your water supplier.

For example, if you have used 10m3 of water in a month and your water unit rate charge is £1.32 per m3 then your water usage charge will be £13.20 for the month.

Water Usage Example – 10m3 x £1.32 = £13.20

The majority of businesses are not in a business water contract, therefore they will be paying a higher rate than they need to be for their business water usage and wastewater usage. To get a more competitive rate businesses should compare water providers and move into a contract. You should also be aware that there are other charges associated with your business water contract, not just water and wastewater usage.

Where can I find my water meter?

Small businesses tend to have more compact water meters, usually tucked away inside their premises near where the main water pipe enters the property. Larger businesses may have one or more meters and they could be located anywhere around the site.

If you are having difficulty locating your business water meter then use our Locate my water meter service and The Business Water Shop will be able to help you.

How do I take a water meter reading?

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How frequently is my water meter read?

Your business water supplier should be reading your water meter at least twice a year. However it is beneficial to submit more readings than this to your business water supplier if your meter is easily accessible.

If you take and submit meter readings more frequently your water bills will be more accurate and it will help detect any potential leaks at the business.

Can I install a water meter?

Yes. If you do not have a water meter at your property you can contact your water wholesaler to request a meter installation for your business. This will usually come at a cost and this cost varies on a number of factors.

The Business Water Shop is also able to give you a quote on a water meter installation for your business, independent of a water retailer. Get in touch at contact@thebusinesswatershop.co.uk

What is a smart water meter?

A SMART meter will automatically read your water meter at timed intervals. This eliminates the need for the water meter to be read manually and results in more accurate bills.

There are many benefits of having a SMART meter installed on your water supply. You will receive automatic meter reads so you no longer have to read your meter. Some suppliers will also offer you access to a portal that allows you to track your data in real-time. In turn, can help your business detect leaks by setting up usage alerts. These alerts will send you a message if a specific meter is using more or less than expected. If a leak is then detected you can then resolve the problem quickly without having to pay additional charges for a hidden leak.

Your business will also receive accurate invoices and you will receive no more estimated invoices. This will allow you to budget better for your utility overheads and pay for what you have actually used.

How do I get a SMART water meter installed for my business?

A handful one water suppliers will offer you a SMART meter as part of their offering to supply your business. This sometimes may come at an additional cost to your service or at cost neutral and included in your package.

You can also pay to have a SMART meter installed at your property even if you are not initially offered one when you choose to switch. This is likely to come at an extra cost. If you are interested in this then The Business Water Shop has a range of options that can support your needs. Contact us for further details on the installation of SMART water meters.

Is my water meter faulty?

If your think that your water meter might be faulty and you are being overcharged for water that you are not using then you can undertake a business water audit to try and identify the leak and claim the money back.

A business water audit helps keep business overheads down. Your business can receive a refund for historic overcharges or leaks that you may not even know about, at the same time this will reduce your invoices moving forward.

How to do a leak test?

If you think that your business water meter is leaking and you may be paying for water that you are not using then you should, if you are able to, take a quick leak test.

To take a leak test you should first take an initial meter reading. Then don’t use any water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you should then take another meter reading. If these two water meter readings are different then water is escaping somewhere within the network.

To identify where the water is escaping from you should turn off the internal stop tap. Again, wait for 30 minutes and take another meter read. If it has changed then the water is escaping externally. If there is no change then the water is escaping internally.

Internal leaks are usually the customer’s responsibility and external leaks are usually the wholesaler’s responsibility.

If you think you have had a leak for a while you can undertake a business water audit to identify the leaks and try to claim money back from your water provider.

What is a standpipe?

A standpipe is a free-standing pipe, fitted with a tap. This can be attached to a washout hydrant to have a water supply where there is no source for one.

Do you have a question that we've not covered?

Do you have further questions about business water meters or any other questions in relation to this subject that we have not answered here? Our team is always happy to help so free to give us a call at 020 8051 7675 or email us at contact@thebusinesswatershop.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.