Meter readings

Reading your meter

The majority of our internal water meters have remote reading devices that enable us to read your meter for billing without disturbing you.

They are usually fixed on an external wall. Once fitted the meter remains in your premises and is the property of Cambridge Water.

You must not restrict access to the remote reading device if the meter is internal or access to the meter if it is external. If you make alterations to your property that would restrict access please contact us to discuss an alternative location (relocation of our equipment may incur a charge).

If we are unable to read the meter on a visit, we will estimate how much water you have used based on what you have used before. We will then make the necessary changes when we next read your meter. If you think our estimate is wrong, you can ring us with your own reading or take advantage of our online read facility.

Where can I find my meter?

Your water meter tends to either be located in a chamber at the boundary of your property, or inside, perhaps by the kitchen sink or downstairs toilet.  

How can I read my meter?

Your water meter registers the number of cubic metres of water you have used (one cubic metre = 1000 litres or 220 gallons).

In reading your water meter you need to supply us with the black numbers on the dials only. Red numbers record fractions of a meter that have been used and need to be ignored.

Please note it is only necessary to submit a meter reading if you are a metered customer who is moving premises or if you have received a bill based on an estimated meter reading and would like to be re-billed to an actual read. If you would like to submit a meter reading please click here.

How to take a meter reading:

meter reading

When will the meter be read?

Under normal circumstances your meter will be read at six monthly intervals. If the annual consumption regularly exceeds 4000m3, then you will be billed quarterly. The readings will be used to calculate the charges due for each six months and you should receive your bill in the post shortly after the meter reader has visited your property.

If for any reason it proves impossible to read the meter or the meter stops recording, you will receive a bill with an estimated consumption either based on a similar period in a previous year, or one based upon the best information available at the time.

Accuracy of meter readings

The meter read is evidence of the volume of water supplied unless it can be shown that the meter does not meet the standard of accuracy required by the Measuring Equipment Regulations 1988 and implemented by the Trading Standards Office.

The procedure for the testing of meters is set out in government regulations:

First level - if the customer is concerned that the meter is showing more water than they believe they have actually used, we will send an inspector to check the meter free of charge.

Second level - if the customer is still sure that the meter reading is inaccurate we can ask the Trading Standards Office to carry out a detailed on-site inspection (free of charge)

Third level - finally, it is possible to swap the meter and have it tested off site, by the manufacturer. However, if the test does not show the meter to be outside the accuracy limits required by the Trading Standards Office you will be liable for the cost of the test to a maximum charge of £70.

Adjustment of charges

If a meter is proven to register incorrectly, charges will be adjusted to reflect normal consumption from either the date the meter became faulty or for the six months prior to the last reading, whichever is the earlier.

Stopped/inaccessible meters

In the event of a meter stopping or becoming temporarily inaccessible, consumption will be estimated by the company from the most reliable data available.

Estimates on unread meters

If we are not able to establish how much water has actually been supplied to the property, we may make an estimate and use this estimate as the basis for charges.

The estimate is made by reference to a previous like period.

If no previous like period exists, we base the estimate on average usage for a single occupant, a couple, or a family. Where there has been no previous like period, this charge can be adjusted later if necessary