Jon Swaine
Telegraph
July 23, 2008

Millions of families, already suffering from rising food and fuel costs, face soaring bills, with some left up to £200 a year worse off by the Government plans, according to The Consumer Council for Water.

Currently water companies can introduce “pay as you flow” meters in areas that are at a high risk of drought. The Government had long-term plans to introduce them into other areas by 2030.

However a Government report into water conservation has claimed there is a “good case” for compulsory metering, and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs wants to extend them across the country as standard.

It said: “There is now a good case for examining the costs and benefits of metering outside areas of serious water stress.”

Ministers say that droughts will become ever-more likely unless people start to use less water, and that they will be encouraged to do so if they pay for what they use. Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, said: “We must find efficient ways to save not only water but also the energy needed to pump, treat and heat it.”

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