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  Reply # 915649 15-Oct-2013 18:41
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Geektastic: 
No insurmountable reason such a system would not work here that I can think of.




I would add regulating building material prices to that list. NZs pay $4 per m of 4x2 timber, while in the US, they only pay $1 per m. There are many companies making a killing in NZ, and many seem to be owned by offshore parent companies, which only makes NZ a poorer country as a result.

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  Reply # 915652 15-Oct-2013 18:46
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I'm in Whakatane and we've had meters for about 20 years. Earlier this year was a bit of a debacle due to a price hike. There's a fixed "supply" charge, plus a charge per m³.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 915655 15-Oct-2013 18:50
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Water companies do usually have to have CEO who has a big salary. Yet if it is covered by a council, there will usually only be the single town clerk earning that salary.

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  Reply # 915801 15-Oct-2013 23:15
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mattwnz: Water companies do usually have to have CEO who has a big salary. Yet if it is covered by a council, there will usually only be the single town clerk earning that salary.


Water companies here are visionless though. They do not even think to sell their knowledge and expertise overseas.

The Moa Point WWTW in Wellington was designed and built by UK company AWG plc by engineers who worked in their regulated UK water business! Just 10 years before they did that, they were a dull and plodding quango. Then they were privatised 100% and had to stand on their own two feet.

For that kind of vision, you pay your CEO. For myopic parochialism, you don't!





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  Reply # 915803 15-Oct-2013 23:18
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mattwnz:
Geektastic: 
No insurmountable reason such a system would not work here that I can think of.




I would add regulating building material prices to that list. NZs pay $4 per m of 4x2 timber, while in the US, they only pay $1 per m. There are many companies making a killing in NZ, and many seem to be owned by offshore parent companies, which only makes NZ a poorer country as a result.


Not long after I moved here, someone said to me that I would soon learn that Kiwis favourite hobby was ripping other Kiwis off. I was not at all sure what he meant by that at the time.

I most certainly know now!!





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  Reply # 915817 16-Oct-2013 00:10
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Geektastic:The Moa Point WWTW in Wellington was designed and built by UK company AWG plc by engineers who worked in their regulated UK water business! Just 10 years before they did that, they were a dull and plodding quango. Then they were privatised 100% and had to stand on their own two feet.



The fact that they were dull and boring only 10 years before they designed the sewage treatment plant probably explains why the locals in the suburb are still complaining about the smell.

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  Reply # 915830 16-Oct-2013 00:58
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Geektastic:
I come from the UK where meters have been a requirement in new homes for almost 20 years. They are now read merely by a van driving down the street. NZ really is a long way behind in that area.

My view is that user pays - what is the difference between that and any other utility?

Likewise the concept of basing rates on property values is lunacy: it should be a per capita charge on all adults over 18 at an address. People use local services, not the buildings in which they live.


Remote meter reading would be good here too.

I'd say that water meter penetration is not much different than the UK despite meters for new homes not being compulsory for most of the population. About 40% of UK households have water meters which is not much different than the proportion of households in metering authorities  - including our two largest cities Auckland and Christchurch. NZ has 4.5m people in 1.6m households ~ 2.7 people per household. 40% metered would be 640,000 households; Auckland 1.5m at 2.9 people per household ~ 520,000  Auckland stats with most having water meters; Christchurch 0.35m at 2.5 people per household ~ 140,000 Christchurch stats with all having water meters.

Many other households have water meters because their local authority compels it (e.g. the householders are identified as water wasters) but many more choose to do so (e.g. low water users who want to reduce their water charges) even paying an installation charge themselves.

It has only been in the last decade or so that my local authority has allowed urban households to install water collection systems. From memory, the primary reason for the change was originally emergency preparedness with water conservation later emerging as the dominant factor.

I've read many reports and articles bemoaning the lack of water metering while mentioning the importance of measurement. Yet I've never seen a measure of water meter penetration in New Zealand, neither the number of water meters nor the proportion of households with them. Does anybody know of such a report?



Geektastic:
mattwnz:
Geektastic: 
No insurmountable reason such a system would not work here that I can think of.


I would add regulating building material prices to that list. NZs pay $4 per m of 4x2 timber, while in the US, they only pay $1 per m. There are many companies making a killing in NZ, and many seem to be owned by offshore parent companies, which only makes NZ a poorer country as a result.


Not long after I moved here, someone said to me that I would soon learn that Kiwis favourite hobby was ripping other Kiwis off. I was not at all sure what he meant by that at the time.

I most certainly know now!!


Geektastic. Was the comment from a Kiwi? If you were persuaded by your own experience as a neo-Kiwi then wouldn't that belie the claim? :D

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  Reply # 915899 16-Oct-2013 10:05
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1eStar: I grew up in Auckland City and have had water meters since time out of memory. It seems like utter lunacy to not have them. Anyone knows that unmetered anything will lead to abuse. What is a rort though is watercare charging something like 10x the amount to dispose of the wastewater purely guessing utilisation at 80% of total water usage. You really need a waste water meter to be equitable.


It seems utter lunacny to me that parts of Auckland City don't even mow their own berm's when it would save lots of money... but thats another topic an't it. Different areas, different elected officals, different rules, different supply situations. I have no issue with the CCC charging me for water usage but I like the idea of how Greytown do it. Christchurch is lucky to have a good supply of clean water readily available, with the only supply issues in recent years being associated with some event that happened a few years ago...

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  Reply # 915921 16-Oct-2013 10:52
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Water meters also have another often overlooked benefit, they are very useful in tracking down leaks in the street mains, 

The councils have meters on the major junctions and pumping plants that record the amount of water that goes through those points, by combining this with the sum of water meters from the "downstream" users it is easy to determine where significant losses are occurring in the distribution network, - It is estimated that many networks lose up to 20% in pipe leakage,, before it gets to the end user.

If water meters encourage more people to put in rainwater tanks for garden use all the better, there is no need to use high standard potable water to keep your garden green, 

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  Reply # 915973 16-Oct-2013 12:22
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I used to work for the Hamilton Council water department. For many years all homes with a swimming pool were required to have a meter, and were charged based on the meter reading, rather than the flat-rate the rest of the ratepayers paid. In the mid-90s they changed that policy as they worked out that pool owners actually used very little more water than others on an annual basis, especially compared with those who had lush gardens. The admin overhead for reading the meters of a small percentage of residential ratepayers and billing them differently on their rates ended up being not worth it for the extra amount of water used. IIRC at the time the flat fee for residential water was about $45/year, so for maybe 2% of 20,000 residential properties, it wasn't really big money.

I'm pretty sure most/all commercial properties in Hamilton are already metered.

Whille I can see the benefits of metering water, I wonder how long the payback will be on the approx $20million cost of installing them, given that each meter will require maintenance and has at most about a 20 yr lifespan. The other big issue is that as soon as water is all metered, then it becomes very attractive for the council to privatise it leading inevitably to large price rises.

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  Reply # 916001 16-Oct-2013 13:23
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BlueShift: I used to work for the Hamilton Council water department. For many years all homes with a swimming pool were required to have a meter, and were charged based on the meter reading, rather than the flat-rate the rest of the ratepayers paid. In the mid-90s they changed that policy as they worked out that pool owners actually used very little more water than others on an annual basis, especially compared with those who had lush gardens. The admin overhead for reading the meters of a small percentage of residential ratepayers and billing them differently on their rates ended up being not worth it for the extra amount of water used. IIRC at the time the flat fee for residential water was about $45/year, so for maybe 2% of 20,000 residential properties, it wasn't really big money.

I'm pretty sure most/all commercial properties in Hamilton are already metered.

Whille I can see the benefits of metering water, I wonder how long the payback will be on the approx $20million cost of installing them, given that each meter will require maintenance and has at most about a 20 yr lifespan. The other big issue is that as soon as water is all metered, then it becomes very attractive for the council to privatise it leading inevitably to large price rises.


Agreed. As soon as something needs maintenance, like a meter, it is very tempting for a council to then contract out the work, where you can be paying 3 times the hourly rate for a private company, rather than using inhouse staff. It is just creating another level of infrastucture and billing. Keeping things simple saves money. I don't think they actually save anyone money, and water is a resource that gets recycled via nature. Policing water use for gardens is probably a cheaper option, and going around checking for property leaks. I am sure a lot of water is lost from those older black plastic water pipes installed in the 80's  which are leaking everywhere.

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  Reply # 916021 16-Oct-2013 13:47
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Spare a thought for those of us on tank water but mains sewerage. Metrowater want to meter our tank, so that we can pay for only the wastewater we use, rather than the fixed charges.  Given the capital cost of an authorised meter install is $600, it's almost impossible to work out if it will end up saving any money as they could change either charge at some point in the future anyway.

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  Reply # 916027 16-Oct-2013 13:55
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hashbrown: Spare a thought for those of us on tank water but mains sewerage. Metrowater want to meter our tank, so that we can pay for only the wastewater we use, rather than the fixed charges.  Given the capital cost of an authorised meter install is $600, it's almost impossible to work out if it will end up saving any money as they could change either charge at some point in the future anyway.


How much to install a septic tank? Although they have to be maintained annually, and the pumps also need replacing semi regularly, just had to spent 1 k on a new pump myself. So $600 may not be a big cost in the grand scheme of things.

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  Reply # 916033 16-Oct-2013 14:24
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mattwnz:
hashbrown: Spare a thought for those of us on tank water but mains sewerage. Metrowater want to meter our tank, so that we can pay for only the wastewater we use, rather than the fixed charges.  Given the capital cost of an authorised meter install is $600, it's almost impossible to work out if it will end up saving any money as they could change either charge at some point in the future anyway.


How much to install a septic tank? Although they have to be maintained annually, and the pumps also need replacing semi regularly, just had to spent 1 k on a new pump myself. So $600 may not be a big cost in the grand scheme of things.


Aye $600 isn't that much, and we've just bought a new pump for $1000 too.  It just hurts to pay $600, then pay to pump water into the house that either fell from the sky or we paid hundreds for a tanker to deliver.  All on top of filters, tank cleaning, gutter cleaning.......

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  Reply # 916034 16-Oct-2013 14:26
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Hammerer:
Geektastic:
I come from the UK where meters have been a requirement in new homes for almost 20 years. They are now read merely by a van driving down the street. NZ really is a long way behind in that area.

My view is that user pays - what is the difference between that and any other utility?

Likewise the concept of basing rates on property values is lunacy: it should be a per capita charge on all adults over 18 at an address. People use local services, not the buildings in which they live.


Remote meter reading would be good here too.

I'd say that water meter penetration is not much different than the UK despite meters for new homes not being compulsory for most of the population. About 40% of UK households have water meters which is not much different than the proportion of households in metering authorities  - including our two largest cities Auckland and Christchurch. NZ has 4.5m people in 1.6m households ~ 2.7 people per household. 40% metered would be 640,000 households; Auckland 1.5m at 2.9 people per household ~ 520,000  Auckland stats with most having water meters; Christchurch 0.35m at 2.5 people per household ~ 140,000 Christchurch stats with all having water meters.

Many other households have water meters because their local authority compels it (e.g. the householders are identified as water wasters) but many more choose to do so (e.g. low water users who want to reduce their water charges) even paying an installation charge themselves.

It has only been in the last decade or so that my local authority has allowed urban households to install water collection systems. From memory, the primary reason for the change was originally emergency preparedness with water conservation later emerging as the dominant factor.

I've read many reports and articles bemoaning the lack of water metering while mentioning the importance of measurement. Yet I've never seen a measure of water meter penetration in New Zealand, neither the number of water meters nor the proportion of households with them. Does anybody know of such a report?



Geektastic:
mattwnz:
Geektastic: 
No insurmountable reason such a system would not work here that I can think of.


I would add regulating building material prices to that list. NZs pay $4 per m of 4x2 timber, while in the US, they only pay $1 per m. There are many companies making a killing in NZ, and many seem to be owned by offshore parent companies, which only makes NZ a poorer country as a result.


Not long after I moved here, someone said to me that I would soon learn that Kiwis favourite hobby was ripping other Kiwis off. I was not at all sure what he meant by that at the time.

I most certainly know now!!


Geektastic. Was the comment from a Kiwi? If you were persuaded by your own experience as a neo-Kiwi then wouldn't that belie the claim? :D

X


Yes - the comment was by a Kiwi who spent 15 years working in Europe before coming back!





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