Separate metering of existing units
In accordance with the Water Act 1989, where multiple units are supplied by one water meter, water usage is divided equally among all unit owners. If you install a check meter to your unit only, you will be liable to pay usage from your individual check meter plus a portion of usage from the current main meter.
This is because you share a responsibility as part of the Owners Corporation for common usage and common pipe work, and will be responsible should any repairs or maintenance be required. Common usage also applies to any leaks at the property. This would mean that you would be charged twice for the usage.
Benefits of Separate Metering
Separate metering means you pay for your usage only. Leaks can be detected through the main meter and water usage charges can be billed directly to a residential tenant.
Existing Service Size
Yarra Valley Water will assess the size of the existing service/main meter. If this does not meet the current minimum requirements to service the number of units in the development, an upsize of the service and main meter will be recommended.
If you wish to retain the existing service and add individual check meters (i.e. not upsize the existing service), we require:
- The submission of a signed letter from a licensed plumber or hydraulic consultant, stating that the pressure and flow to each property within the development, through the existing service will be sufficient with the addition of the check meters. Note that the addition of check meters can reduce the available pressure and flow to each property.
- A copy of the Owners Corporation.
Important - If it is determined at a later date that the internal water supply flow rates have been affected, it is the responsibility of the owners or the responsible Owners Corporation to carry out and pay for any rectification works required.
Changing the current meter arrangement
Two existing units requesting separate metering
One of the existing units can retain the existing water connection and meter, the other unit is to make application for a new water connection and meter.
Three or more existing units requesting separate check metering
All properties need to have check meters installed to be separately metered. All unit owners must agree to have their units separately metered as well. Each unit owner will pay the same rate of service charges they are currently paying, plus usage charges as per their individual unit meters. All unit owners will share the responsibility for any usage that gets billed to the main meter account. This water use may be from a leak or for any common area water use such as a communal tap.
Percentage meter groups
This type of meter set up is generally found in units built prior to 1988.
These properties have one meter supplying multiple dwellings and are also referred to as ‘Not Separately Metered’.
The usage is billed to each of the properties as a percentage of the total water used at the premise.
As each dwelling does not have its own meter in this case, we are unable to determine the exact amount of water each dwelling has used. As per the Residential Tenancy Act, tenants cannot be connected to properties that are within a Percentage Meter Group. The owner will always receive the usage charges for the property.