Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has instructed Northern Ireland Water to stop any further installation of water meters in domestic properties while legislation is introduced to end the practice. The necessary regulations are expected to be laid after the summer recess.
"In the current financial climate, the continued waste of public money to install meters which will not be used cannot continue” he said.
"Regulations are currently being drafted and consultation on these is legally required. Meanwhile I have instructed NI Water to cease this work immediately.”
NI Water has been installing meters when making new domestic property connections since 2007 when the practice was first sanctioned. To date around 35,000 meters have been installed. Current price of installation is just over £39 per meter.
The number of domestic meters installed during the year 2014/15 amounted to 3,787; for the year 2013/14, the figure was 3,030.
The company said: “NI Water has, in the past, requested it be released from the obligation to install meters as they are currently serving no purpose and is therefore supportive of this decision.”