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Water Charges

Volume 983: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1980

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39.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the capital cost, and the ongoing current cost, of changing the method of charging domestic consumers of water from that based on the rating system to one based on direct metering.

In 1976, the National Water Council estimated that it would cost between £650 million and £950 million at 1975 prices depending upon where the meters were installed. My Department's very approximate estimate is that it would now cost in the region of £1,000 million. Regarding the ongoing current cost, this will clearly be crucially affected by the method adopted for meter reading, on which the potential of new technologies is being actively considered.