FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our Meters

Multi-unit complexes have a master meter to record the total water used.

A sub meter is an additional meter used to measure the water used in each individual apartment / unit / townhouse.

Private meters are installed on private property by the owner/s and used by them to apportion costs of measured water consumption according to ‘user pays’ rather than by some other method e.g. unit entitlement.

Private meters are owned and maintained by private individuals or their body corporates.

They empower people to make their water fair.

Yes. Our meters with their radio reading devices are Pattern Approved by the Australian National Measurement Institute for billing purposes (NMI 14/3/37). As per regulation they are then Verified on arrival in Australia.

Find out more about National Measurement Institute (NMI) requirements here.

Water service provider approval is not required for sub-meters that have been retro-fitted in existing properties, where the sub meters are not to be used for direct invoicing by the water service provider.
Your local authority’s “list of approved meters” applies only to meters that are owned, maintained and read by them, and so does not apply to private meters.

All work carried out in the installation of our sub meter complies with AS3500 and the state Plumbing and Wastewater Code.

Our meters and their remote reading devices are Pattern Approved and Verified. Find out more about National Measurement Institute (NMI) requirements here.

Benefits

How it works for complexes:

Remote drive-by meter readings happen on a quarterly basis with notification of any leaks, back-flow or tampering.
Unit owners receive e-invoices or printed bills, with various payment options and SMS or email reminders  

Payments can either be made

  • directly into the Body Corp’s nominated account, or
  • as part of the body corporate’s quarterly levies

The report provided to your Body Corp Manager makes it quick and easy either to

  • cross-check payments received into the Body Corporate account, or
  • to determine levies. 

Embedded billing is available on request

Note:  Gold Coast complexes will need to enter into a new billing agreement with Gold Coast Council, to receive a bulk bill only from the date of installation. (See Scenario 1 here.)

 

How it works for landlords:

Remote drive-by meter readings happen on a quarterly basis with notification of any leaks, back-flow or tampering.
We provide digital bills via email to you or your property manager to on-charge your tenant for the water they’ve used.

Find out more about on-charging for water consumption in your state, click here.

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Benefits to Landlords
  • DE-RISK your investment and increase returns
  • SAVE MONEY – legally pass on measured water costs to tenants
  • AUTOMATIC LEAK DETECTION protects your property and your pocket
  • ADD VALUE to your property and make it more saleable
  • RECOUP meter costs within 12-18 months
  • CLAIMABLE TAX DEDUCTION

No Body Corporate permission is required for installation inside your property
No changes to your current billing arrangement

Additional benefits when your whole complex is fitted:
  • USER PAYS – no more shared bills / paying for the bloke next door / paying for water while your unit is vacant!
 
Benefits to Tenants
  • REALISTIC RENT – not inflated to cover water you may not be using.
  • BE EMPOWERED – As a responsible consumer you can’t manage water use if don’t know what it is!
Resident Owner
  • LEAK DETECTION protects your property & your pocket
  • BE EMPOWERED – you can’t manage water use if you don’t know what it is!
  • ADD VALUE to your property – make it more saleable
Additional benefits when your whole complex is fitted:
  • USER PAYS – no more shared bills / paying for the bloke next door / paying for water while your unit is vacant!
Yes. There is even more need for sub meters in commercial complexes. Just think of the huge difference in water used by businesses like laundromats, hairdressers and restaurants, compared to accountants, travel agents and retail outlets!

Switching over to user-pays water

No. Fair Water Meters are usually installed inside your property so no body corporate approval is needed.

Landlords can install Fair Water Meters in individual units even if nobody else in the complex has one.

if your water meter is required to be installed on common property, please raise this with your body corporate. See our Getting Started page for further information.

  • Sub meters do not replace or interfere with the council / water provider’s bulk meter to a complex.
  • Sub meters simply give accurate information on the actual water used by each unit so that the bulk bill can be shared on a ‘user-pays’ basisinstead of on an arbitrary basis (such as by size of unit, number of bedrooms or unit entitlement).

For landlords:

  • Yes, provided we have expanded into your area, you can receive the bill for the measured water to pass on to your tenant.
  • In the meantime, landlords anywhere can have their meters read by their property managers during routine property inspections.
  • We currently service the coastal centres from Ballina to the Sunshine Coast. Check if we service your area, or sign up to know when we are in your neighbourhood.

For resident owners:

  • You can only benefit from individual ‘user-pays’ water bills if your whole complex installs water meters.
  • See also next Question.

How does it work?

Fair Water Meter readings will start from the day your meters are installed

A final reading of the master meter at your complex will be done on the day of installation, to finalise the last ‘shared’ bills.

Note: Gold Coast complexes will need to enter into a new billing agreement with Gold Coast Council, to stop getting individual ‘shared’ bills and to receive a bulk bill only from the date of installation. (See Scenario 1 here.)

There is no need for our meter readers to access your property. When our meter readers drive past, the wireless radio module fitted on your meter is “pinged” and it responds by sending your meter reading.

The radio module collects and processes pulses received from the measuring device and sends them to the remote reading system.

The radio module:

  • automatically saves your monthly water use for the past 12 months
  • records unusual usage / “alarm” notifications (for leaks / baseline flow, backflow, or tampering)

When the drive-by reader comes within range:

  • your radio module is ‘woken up’ by the remote reading system
  • it transmits your usage data and any “alarm” notifications (for leaks / baseline flow, back-flow, or tampering) to the remote reading system

The data is matched to your meter’s serial number in our system, and then used to generate your water bill.

This remote reading system is robust and reliable and has been used and trusted in Europe for 20 years.

Meter readings are sent to

  • our billing platform, or
  • to your nominated billing provider to issue bills to unit owners.

No. We simply provide the payment details / gateway to your complex’s nominated account.

Learn more about our meter reading and billing options here.

Embedded billing and/or collection services can be arranged if required. Please contact us for further information.

Common property water is usually shared between unit owners as part of their levies.

Common water can either be:

  1. Measured by fitting additional meters in common areas, or
  2. Calculated – total water usage (from the bulk meter) less the sum total water usage from all lots (from the sub-meters) = common water

Accuracy, Reliability & Warranty

All water meters now need to be verified or replaced every 8 years. Rather than the hassle and expense of sending your meter away for verification, the measurement capsule of your Fair Water Meter simply unscrews to be recycled. Our convenient ‘swap and replace’ system costs only $90. We even send you a reminder when the time comes!

  • Fair Water Meters are triple tested for durability as well as accuracy – twice in Germany and samples from each batch is tested again upon arrival in Australia as part of mandatory verification.
  • Provided your meter has been installed as recommended, a fault is highly unlikely.
  • We are proud to introduce meters of this quality to Australia and customer satisfaction is very important to us. If you have a concern, please contact us directly.

Lifetime Warranty on the valve-meter base and in-line base both carry a lifetime warranty.

8-Year Replacement Warranty on the measuring capsule and radio module.

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