London---(METERING.COM)---June 27, 2006 – According to top industry executives, a secret plan to introduce compulsory water metering nationwide is being designed by UK Environment Secretary David Miliband.

One source said: “The option being looked at is not a ‘Big Bang’ approach, but a gradual phasing in. On the plus side, he can make the case that average bills reduce by about 15% when metering is introduced, but there are significant problems.” A roll-out of meters would be both expensive and time consuming.

Sources indicated that Miliband believes that metering is the fairest way to charge customers, and will also help utilities reach leakage targets. Some utilities in the south-east of the country, where rains have been poor for several years, have been given permission to introduce compulsory metering, but latest figures show that only 5 million households have a water meter.

More widespread introduction of water meters could be a political hot potato – when Labour was in opposition it objected to the idea, calling it a tax on families.