If you are a household customer and have asked for a meter under the free meter option scheme, but your water company can’t supply one, they must make sure you are not disadvantaged because you don’t have a meter.

They must offer you an alternative to the unmeasured charges based on property Rateable Value (RV) you would otherwise have to pay.
This alternative is an Assessed Charge based on average bills paid by customers who do have meters. It may be known by a different name, eg:

  • Assessed Volume Charge (AVC)
  • Assessed Measured Charge (AMC)
  • Average Household Charge
  • Assessed Household Charge
  • Assessed Charge (AC).

Water companies work out Assessed Charges in different ways. The figures used by your company are approved by the regulator, Ofwat.
If you can’t have a meter you will usually pay the Assessed Charge from the date of the survey. Normally, the charge will only apply if it is lower than the unmeasured bill you would otherwise pay.

However, in some areas where all properties are being metered, if you can’t have a meter fitted you may be moved onto the Assessed Charge, even if it is higher than your current unmeasured RV charge.

You should notify your water company if there are any changes which might affect the Assessed Charge you are paying, eg if the number of occupants changes.

Like normal unmeasured charges, the Assessed Charge is fixed for each charging year (1 April to 31 March) and becomes due in advance on 1st April.