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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 21st Jun 03, 6:44 PM
    • 8,109Posts
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    MSE Martin
    Water Bills questions and comment
    • #1
    • 21st Jun 03, 6:44 PM
    Water Bills questions and comment 21st Jun 03 at 6:44 PM
    Please place your water bill questions and comments here





    Addition by Fran - link to Martin's article HERE











    Last edited by Fran; 12-02-2005 at 1:08 AM. Reason: add link to water article on main site
Page 38
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 12th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    • 3,091 Posts
    • 1,822 Thanks
    matelodave
    If you've got a meter then start reading it at least weekly to see how much water you are using. Then you can see whether your water saving measures are working. When you monitor it then you can do something about your consumption.

    Learn to take shorter showers - six of you at 5 minutes each is at least 30 minutes of showering a day. With a high flow shower head that could be a lot of water.

    So get a flow restrictor fitted on all the taps and the shower to help reduce consumption..

    Dont let water run down the sink when washing or rinsing stuff, including your hands, and especially when cleaning your teeth.

    Make sure that the washing machine & dishwasher are fully loaded, they use the same amount of water and energy as when they are only half full.
    Last edited by matelodave; 12-09-2017 at 6:01 PM.
    Love makes the world go round - beer make it go round even faster
    • Alan Wednesday
    • By Alan Wednesday 22nd Sep 17, 8:58 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    Alan Wednesday
    Response to Cardew
    Is Cardew on commission from Thames or Northumbria, 'cause he sounds like the answers I have been getting from Essex & Suffolk Water (owned by Northumbria) for nearly two years ! Thames are the company involved in the Southwark case, where the Council was found to be reselling and taking excessive commission, which they have had to return to tenants. Thames have (reportedly) withdrawn so called 'agency agreements' behind which this travesty hid.
    In my case my Council took over £300,000 last year, having previously claimed that all the money collected from tenants was passed to the Water Company. Council class this as 'revenue', ie income or profit, but deny reselling !!? Some Council's in a similar position are now challenging the decision of Court re. Southwark.
    Yes, there are three declared methods of charging, but most Council tenants are paying through their Council with their rent and, against advice, are not advised that metering is available and 'may' be cheaper. Fact - smaller Council property tenants WILL save substantially, since the water company sets the charge based on RV by providing factors to Council to apply to RV. Larger properties are disproportionately low.
    Case in point - my charge from Council was over £10 per week. Calculators show a figure of less than half that for my one-bed flat. Early meter readings now show that I will pay less than £2 per week.
    This subject is generally based on the 'agency agreement' element, which it seems is common only to Thames and Northumbria. However the factors provided by the Companies cause inflated charges, which Council's do not query due to their commission, this is the greater offence.
    Ofwat think this is ok. Consumer Council for Water pass complaints to the Water Redress Scheme. Water Redress Scheme avoids the issue on technicalities. They can't even decide who is the customer, the Council or the consumer !!
    If you are paying through your Council and in a one or two bed property, get a meter installed and hassle Council and Water Companies for redress direct, some tenants have been overpaying for decades.
    • Alan Wednesday
    • By Alan Wednesday 4th Oct 17, 4:22 PM
    • 6 Posts
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    Alan Wednesday
    Response to Cardew
    Curious that there is no response to my post of 22/9, is everyone that stunned ?
    Meanwhile Government announce caps on energy, but fail to address profiteering by water companies !
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 4th Oct 17, 6:23 PM
    • 27,031 Posts
    • 13,157 Thanks
    Cardew
    Curious that there is no response to my post of 22/9, is everyone that stunned ?
    Meanwhile Government announce caps on energy, but fail to address profiteering by water companies !
    Originally posted by Alan Wednesday
    I wasn't aware of the widespread practice of Councils collecting water charges from their tenants and adding 'a reasonable administration fee.' which appears to be an unreasonable fee?

    It is also reprehensible that the Council are not informing tenants that metering may be cheaper, and all tenants have the choice to have their own water account and deal directly with the water company.

    Personally I think that, like any monopoly, water/sewerage should never have been privatised and companies given a geographic area. To sell off a largely Victorian water infrastructure and get customers to pay for modernisation was a disgrace. It is quite indefensible that customers in the South West can pay up to three times as much as some customers in other areas.

    The Water companies are culpable in many other areas, however in the case you have raised it seems to me that tenants being 'ripped off' is totally the fault of the Councils.

    P.S. The total revenue a company can raise is strictly controlled by the Regulator(Ofwat). Therefore if thousands of customers elect for metered charges and save money, it is cost neutral to the water company. They can simply increase other charges to raise the same agreed revenue.
    • mrdave85
    • By mrdave85 11th Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mrdave85
    Hi all

    I've been living in a new build, rented property for around 6 months. We did the usual letting utilities know we had moved in, and after receiving correspondence from South Staffs water saying they had our details, we've never received a bill.

    How much should I pursue this? I've contacted them twice over our tenancy so far but no bill or letter. We're not on a meter, or at least, I can't find a meter.

    Any advice is appreciated
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 11th Oct 17, 1:01 PM
    • 27,031 Posts
    • 13,157 Thanks
    Cardew
    Hi all

    I've been living in a new build, rented property for around 6 months. We did the usual letting utilities know we had moved in, and after receiving correspondence from South Staffs water saying they had our details, we've never received a bill.

    How much should I pursue this? I've contacted them twice over our tenancy so far but no bill or letter. We're not on a meter, or at least, I can't find a meter.

    Any advice is appreciated
    Originally posted by mrdave85
    All properties built since 1990 should have a meter - there is no provision for charging based on the Rateable Value(RV) as RV ceased to exist for new properties. So it is almost certain you have a meter.

    Many water companies bill in April and Oct, but offer most people the chance to pay by monthly Direct Debit.

    South Staffs Water do not charge for sewerage, that will be billed by one of the water companies bordering their area - usually Severn Trent - but South Staffs collect on behalf of Severn Trent.
    Last edited by Cardew; 11-10-2017 at 1:14 PM.
    • golfergti
    • By golfergti 26th Oct 17, 11:11 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    golfergti
    Please help!!I bought a house in January, and have had it fully refurbished I have been receiving bills with water meter and zero usage so I contacted them and told them there is no meter as I have never seen it.
    They said it was fitted before I moved in i have never seen it. Now they want to charge me to refit it??
    Can anyone help please
    Its about 400-500
    • rm0810
    • By rm0810 27th Oct 17, 8:28 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rm0810
    Hello GolferGTI.

    In regards to your question, if your water meter was fitted before you moved in then it has to remain. You most likely won’t see it due it being external to the property in a meter chamber. In regards to it being refitted, if you want to move it to an area of your choice then you’re liable for the costs as the water meter was fitted free of charge initially.

    If you’ve removed the meter whilst renovating, once again you’re liable for the costs as per the previous reason.

    Hope that helps.
    • golfergti
    • By golfergti 28th Oct 17, 12:22 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    golfergti
    Hi
    Thanks for your response I have never seen the meter as far as I was aware there was no meter in the house but yorkshire water have stated there was one fitted before I moved in. I phoned them as I was getting sent bills with zero usage for meter, and I told them I am using water. They have now sent me a letter saying they are going to fit another meter, shouldnt they come try and find it 1st if they saying it was fitted?
    The previous owner must have removed it then??
    Thanks
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 28th Oct 17, 9:05 AM
    • 27,031 Posts
    • 13,157 Thanks
    Cardew
    The previous owner must have removed it then??
    Thanks
    Originally posted by golfergti


    It is not an easy job to remove a water meter and insert a pipe to replace meter.
    • rm0810
    • By rm0810 28th Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    rm0810
    Hello GolferGTI,

    So in this instance I can only presume that the meter has been relocated whilst the works were underway. They can tell this by the AMR (Automated Reading Device) fitted to the meter, which most likely is recording 0 consumption which indicates an issue with the meter as you’ve told us that there is water being used.

    So back to your initial query, they will come out and try identify the location of the meter, if they are unable, then you should get a new meter fitted.

    Dependant on the time scale you should be billed temporarily on just the standing charges. But I’d confirm that with YW.

    But there’s a possibility it may have been removed which hopefully they’ll rectify and issue you with a new metered account.

    Hope this helps.
    • Alan Wednesday
    • By Alan Wednesday 28th Oct 17, 4:02 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Alan Wednesday
    Response to Cardew
    Thanks for your response Cardew.
    There is no question of arbitrary 'resonable', Councils charging for water are reselling the services according to Ofwat and are permitted less than 1% commission under Water Orders. Thames are paying up to 20% and Northumbria around 10%, United Utilities are also culpable. This was the subject of Jones v. Southwark and changes are afoot.
    The other side of the coin is the factors provided by water companies to be applied to Rateable Value under the earlier Water Industry Act. This is how the companies can offer savings by going metered, they are fully aware that those factors overcharge but do not encourage Councils to advise customers of this. This applies substantially to customers in smaller social housing.
    Furthermore, the companies should not be permitted to redistribute charges when this is regularised, since larger housing units probably benefit by remaining on RV basis. Single occupants are clearly subsidising larger families.
    Ofwat think this is ok and CCWater and Watrs are not willing to challenge the water companies.
    As to refunds or redress, good luck with that, I have been pursueing this for nearly two years and Kim Jones fought for 13 years.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 28th Oct 17, 9:23 PM
    • 27,031 Posts
    • 13,157 Thanks
    Cardew
    since larger housing units probably benefit by remaining on RV basis. Single occupants are clearly subsidising larger families.
    Originally posted by Alan Wednesday
    The original Water Privatisation Act gave water companies the power to compulsorily fit meters on change of occupant; this includes tenants. It was the clear intention of the Act that all properties(where feasible) would have a meter.

    Thus if the companies had enforced that provision only occupants who had lived in the property from before 01 April 1990 would still be paying RV based charges. Some companies enforced that provision, most didn't!

    The problem is that there is no financial incentive for companies to fit meters. They are allowed by Ofwat to raise £xxx million in revenue and make £yy million in profit- provided they meet certain targets. Any loss or gain in revenue from compulsorily fitting meters can be catered for by adjusting other charges to reach the authorised revenue, and hence profit.

    The companies really are in a win/win position which is reflected in their share price.
    • golfergti
    • By golfergti 29th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    golfergti
    It is not an easy job to remove a water meter and insert a pipe to replace meter.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Its not something i did tho so basically will still have to pay?
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