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Water Industry Act 1999

Section 7: restrictions on water companies’ power to charge by reference to volume

25.Section 7 adds another new section (section 144B) to the 1991 Act. It will allow consumers to stay on an unmeasured charge unless certain conditions are met. It does this by prohibiting water companies from beginning to charge domestic customers on a measured basis unless:

  • a consumer has requested or agreed to be charged on that basis (either by sending the water company a measured charges notice under section 144A, or agreeing to a suggestion from the company that charges be on a measured basis); or

  • the consumer has recently moved into the premises and has not yet received a water bill based on an unmeasured charge.

But for a consumer to benefit under section 144B, certain conditions must be satisfied. The Secretary of State may set out these conditions in regulations. The regulations might require, for example, that the consumer should not be using a garden sprinkler on the premises, or should not have water fittings which use considerable amounts of water.

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