Installing a meter

Meter installation

All non-domestic customers have the right to request the installation of a meter. We will supply an estimate for the cost of installation.

To request a meter please click here

Installation Charges

There is a charge for installation of a meter at a commercial property. An estimate of the installation cost will be provided after a survey has been carried out.

The meter will be fitted internally where practicable. If not practicable the meter will be fitted outside

Where the premises is fed by a service pipe of 15mm or 20mm internal diameter, there is a standard installation charge.

Commercial premises fed by a service pipe of 25mm or greater internal diameter are charged by individual estimate.

Guaranteed installation times for chargeable meter installations

Cambridge Water guarantees to install a meter within 30 days of receiving a request

This guarantee does not cover situations where the delay is caused by the customer (e.g. no access provided to property).

Failure to install within guaranteed period

If claimed Cambridge Water will make a payment under their Guaranteed Standards Scheme, a copy of which may be obtained by contacting us.

Aborted visits

If a customer fails to attend an agreed appointment on two separate occasions for the same works, a charge of £20 will be made to cover the cost of the visit. The charge will be debited to the customers' account.

Meter installation 

Government regulations allow for meters to be installed in one of three locations, namely internally, externally or externally at the stop tap.

Our surveyor will visit you to see if it is possible to install a meter. If it is possible to install a meter, Cambridge Water will look to install the meter inside the property at a convenient location. In deciding the most convenient location, we will take account of your wishes, where reasonably practical, and of any special needs that you may have.

If the meter cannot be installed inside the property, we will look to install the meter at the stop tap near the boundary of the property.

Once we have surveyed the property, you will be asked to sign our standard approval form, which will include information on the exact location of the meter.

Remote reading devices are connected to most of our meters so that meter readers can generally take readings without disturbing you. The meter will be placed in a position where you can also read it.

If it is possible to install the water meter internally but you would prefer to have the meter installed outside the property or at a different location inside, then you are responsible for any additional charges. Our surveyor will need to visit the property in order to provide a quotation.

Alternative location of meter

If the occupier wants to have the meter installed outside the property or at a different location inside, then the occupier is responsible for any additional charges. Our surveyor will need to visit the property in order to provide an estimate.

Cost of reinstatement

Note: there is no allowance in the standard installation charges (including installation of free meters) for surface reinstatement other than reinstatement of soft ground or for the use of tarmac in hard areas. Any special requirement will be agreed with the customer and estimated separately.

Installation by a third party

Once we have surveyed the property, the customer may opt to have the meter fitted by his or her own contractor, or fit the meter themselves. The work must be carried out to Cambridge Water specifications using an encoded water meter and touchpad purchased from Cambridge Water, and using materials approved by us. This is in order that we can read and maintain the meter in the future. We will also have to inspect the installation. We will not be able to charge for water on a metered basis until we have approved the work.

Cambridge Water will not reimburse the customer for the cost of installation if the customer would have been entitled to a free meter installation but chose to use a third party to install the meter.

Ownership of meter

Irrespective of who installs the meter, it remains, or becomes, the property of Cambridge Water.

Compulsory metering

All new supplies will be metered. We may require meters to be installed in the following circumstances:

  • Mixed Use Properties (Home and Business)

The occupier of a property, which is primarily used as a home, but also used for business, may elect to continue to be charged on an unmeasured basis.

The company has the right to meter the whole property where the principal use of the premises is for business. Examples of this include hotels where the landlord also lives, or properties which contain a caretaker's flat, or shops containing a flat for the shopkeeper.

  • Properties that have been split or merged into a different number of premises
  • Premises that do not have a charging value
  • Swimming Pools, Garden Ponds, Fishing Lakes and Environmental Water Areas
  • Public Houses
  • Short Stay Accommodation (guest houses, hotels and other short stay accommodation)
  • Sprinklers and Automatic Watering Devices
  • New Occupiers

Cambridge Water can elect to charge a new occupier by metered charges as long as the new occupier has not been billed for unmeasured charges. We cannot elect to charge a new occupier by metered charges if one of the original occupiers still resides there.

  • Miscellaneous
  • Garden Meters

Separate meters for garden watering are no longer installed, but some customers do still have garden meters which were fitted a number of years ago. Where a dwelling has an unmetered supply and a metered supply for garden watering, the meter standing charge is reduced by the unmetered availability charge.


The customer is to provide reasonable access to Cambridge Water's meter reading equipment for routine reading, ad-hoc reading and repairs. If continued access to the equipment is denied, then Cambridge Water may suspend the charging based on metered usage and an alternative charging method will apply.


Meter Relocation

The customer may apply to Cambridge Water for an existing meter installation to be relocated. The application may be made in writing, by telephone or by email. Cambridge Water will visit the property to establish a new location for the meter. Following the visit, Cambridge Water will send an estimate of the cost of the work. Upon acceptance of the estimate the work will be carried out within 30 days. We will not charge to relocate meters for customers who are elderly or disabled.

Removal of a meter by a third party without Cambridge Water's consent

To remove a meter that belongs to Cambridge Water is a criminal offence. Any meter installation found to be removed without prior consent of the company shall be replaced at full cost to the customer.