Not Compulsory

Before getting into the technicalities of Smart Meters, let’s define the Smart Meter.

A Smart Meter is a wireless radio device that communicates CUSTOMER OWNED (1a) data at least daily (and possibly every 15-60 minutes!) back to the utility for monitoring and billing.


The citations to prove that Smart Meters are not compulsory are as follows:

Electricity and Gas Smart Meters

“Smart Meters aren’t compulsory and people can choose not to have one”. SmartEnergyGB (2)

Water Smart Meters

This is where the fun begins!

“……..No water company is ever required to introduce compulsory metering even if it is in an area of severe water stress”. DEFRA Letter dated 3 April 2014 (3)

“Thames Water confirms that you can have your own non smart water meter installed”. Stop Smart Meters UK, 16 November 2014 (4)

“……we have no mandatory rollout of smart meters for water……” Lord Whitty (Lab). Hansard: House of Lords. 3 March 2016, Column 937 (1b)

Let’s now examine the “relevant legislation”:

Water Industry Act 1991 as amended in 2014 (5)

Water Industry (Prescribed Conditions) Regulations 1999 as amended in 2007 (6)

Environment Agency : Water Stressed Areas Final Classification (2013). Cat code LIT 8538 (7)

Search for the word “Smart”.

Answer: The word “Smart” does not exist in the above legislation!

The installation of one of these analogue meters in line with their instructions (4) complies with the relevant legislation (5), (6), and (7).

The Analogue Meter is the measuring device that is covered by the “relevant legislation”.

The choice by Thames Water of their Smart Water Meter product is a matter of Company Policy and NOT, Law.

Disclaimer: Whilst all reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure the validity of the information presented, no warranty is given towards its accuracy. No liability is accepted for damages arising from its use and/or interpretation by others. An update to this post may be made at any time as facts change.

(a) Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con) “…..My Lords, the meter data, of course, belong to the customer. Therefore, any
company wanting access will have to agree with the customer…..” (Column 936).
(b) Lord Whitty (Lab) “…..we have no mandatory rollout of smart meters for water……” (Column 937).