Water bills cost cutting article

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
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  • Hi gang, I fitted a water meter 24 years ago and it has saved me a stack, my water rates were in excess of £200 a year then, I live in a four bedroomed house and there are just two of us, my current bill runs out at £72 a half year, less than £150 for the year!

    If I was paying on a fixed rate it would be about £400 PA so I lol all the way to the Bank, we have dual flush toilets use a rain water butt for the garden and a hose pipe if that runs out, I have soak aways and a drain across the bottom of the drive and claim the extra discount for that.

    We are not mean with water but don't waste it, I fitted a meter for my daughter who has three children her savings are not as big as mine but still worth while.

    I say go for it I don't know any one who does not save by it.

    Cheers Des.
  • We are a family of two adults and two teenage girls living in a 3 bed semi in the south west water area on unmetered billing. Our current bill for the year is£820!!!! £80 per month for ten months of the year.

    Please is there anybody similar to us who has changed to a meter and made savings without being too frugal. We have done the online calculator and it seems to be about the same.
  • carol_a_3carol_a_3 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    I'm in the same position as you, my bill is now £648 unmetered for me and two teenagers. We are very frugal with water but I'm scared of leaks or getting charged more. My friend has just had a meter fitted and was told you can have it removed after a year if you're not happy so I may now consider it. I don't think it's fair that I have a higher rateable value but live in the same style house as another unmetered friend around the corner and have to pay £9 a month more than her, my water is no better than her's!!
  • gem4gem4 Forumite
    332 Posts
    I'm in a band C, 3-bedroomed house, RV £250 with South Staffs Water and Severn Trent sewerage. There's just me and my teenage daughter who is at college all day and out most nights, I'm out 2 days a week and at home the rest of the time. The biggest waste of water is my daughter's 25min showers every morning........she insists she cant do it in less :)

    I've been paying more than £30 a month (over 8 mths) for 6 years. This year's bill just came in at £304, £38 per month.
    I'm sure if I had a water meter fitted that I would save money, the uswitch calculations seem to think so, but I dont want to make a wrong decision and end up paying more. It's already my largest monthly payment by far and a real struggle to find.

    Does anyone know if its just selected water companies that will let you change your mind within 12mths or is it a general rule?
    Would I need to pay my current bill first, all at once, or can I still pay it by monthly direct debit?
    Finally, if I had a meter fitted now, how easy is it to calculate the savings through the year in order to decide whether to keep it or not?
    I think I may just need a boot up the backside to make the decision.
    ;) debt free...yippee :dance:
  • I cant believe that there is such difference across the country with regards to water rates.

    me and my partner live in a 3 bed semi and pay £40 a month direct debit to severn trent
  • oops_a_daisyoops_a_daisy Forumite
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    Gem4 - go for the water meter - I live in a 3 bed house - washer on most days + dishwasher. Showers every day - my Direct debit is £22.00 per month with northumbrian water. Ive just switched my Nana onto a water meter too. Get a water butt to save water for the summer to water plants - but I use a hose pipe too if absolutely necessary. Put water saving bags into your cisterns to save a gallon every time you flush. :j
    :cool: Official DFW Nerd Club Member #37 Debt free Feb 07 :cool:
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    gem4 wrote:
    I'm in a band C, 3-bedroomed house, RV £250 with South Staffs Water and Severn Trent sewerage. There's just me and my teenage daughter who is at college all day and out most nights, I'm out 2 days a week and at home the rest of the time. The biggest waste of water is my daughter's 25min showers every morning........she insists she cant do it in less :)

    I've been paying more than £30 a month (over 8 mths) for 6 years. This year's bill just came in at £304, £38 per month.
    I'm sure if I had a water meter fitted that I would save money, the uswitch calculations seem to think so, but I dont want to make a wrong decision and end up paying more. It's already my largest monthly payment by far and a real struggle to find.

    Does anyone know if its just selected water companies that will let you change your mind within 12mths or is it a general rule?
    Would I need to pay my current bill first, all at once, or can I still pay it by monthly direct debit?
    Finally, if I had a meter fitted now, how easy is it to calculate the savings through the year in order to decide whether to keep it or not?
    I think I may just need a boot up the backside to make the decision.

    The average consumption is 60 cubic meters per person per year. So for 2 you can work on 120 cubic meters if you can persuade you daughter to have shorter showers.

    You will have to get the tariff for South Staffs water. However taking Severn Trent as an example(for 120 cu mtrs) for the rates that start in April 2006 you would pay:

    £130 for water
    £ 88 for sewage
    £ 30 standing charge for water and sewage

    **Total = £248

    If your surface water does not go into a soakaway(i.e. enters the sewer) you will pay an additional £24/48/72 depending if your house is terraced/semi-detached/detached.

    Bearing in mind that water charges have increased considerably in 2006, and assuming that South Staffs charges are not much higher than Severn Trent, you are likely to pay less than your unmetered bill.

    There are 8 different charging zones within Severn Trent for unmeasured charges. With a Rateable Value of £250 you would pay between £282 and £352, with the same additional charges as above for surface water entering the Sewer.

    **Additional note.
    Just had a look at South Staffs water charges on;

    http://www.south-staffs-water.co.uk/Households.asp?QScontentID=72

    The metered charges are cheaper than Severn Trent so for 120 cu meters you would expect to pay around £210.

    You have a year to revert to unmetered if it is not to your advantage to be metered. - see link
  • melburymelbury Forumite
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    Gem4 - go for the water meter - I live in a 3 bed house - washer on most days + dishwasher. Showers every day - my Direct debit is £22.00 per month with northumbrian water. Ive just switched my Nana onto a water meter too. Get a water butt to save water for the summer to water plants - but I use a hose pipe too if absolutely necessary. Put water saving bags into your cisterns to save a gallon every time you flush. :j

    That sounds very reasonable, think I'll have to move to Northumerland!
    Stopped smoking 27/12/2007, but could start again at any time :eek:

  • murphydavidmurphydavid Forumite
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    Hya money savers,

    On reading Martins article I immediately emailed my water company “Three Valleys Water” to ask them to send me their application form so I could apply for a rebate because the rainwater on my property is channelled into a soak away. It’s been a while and I have had no reply. It’s the first I have heard about it so before making a fool of myself with the water company can anyone tell me.

    Is it a legal requirement that all water companies must give this rebate?

    Would it be obvious to me from looking at my bill if I was already getting it? i.e. Would it be listed as a rebate or is there a situation where everyone gets the basic charge and those who’s water goes into a sewer are charged extra and only they would see that on their bills?

    Finally I would like to hear from anyone who is getting this rebate from “Three Valleys Water” (or any other water company come to that) as to what procedure they used to get it and how difficult it was.

    Best regards
  • murphydavidmurphydavid Forumite
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    Don’t look like anyone is reading this thread at the moment but for what it is worth I finally got a reply from my water company who tell me I am due a rebate but it comes from Thames Water who do the sewage for them. Thames Water are going to send me a form to sign then I should get it. The guy at Three Valleys Water also volunteered the information that I need to make a new application every year as Thames Water let each application lapse after a year and do not send out reminders. So here’s a small thanks to the Guy at Three Valleys Water for volunteering information and a definite Raspberry to Thames Water for keeping quiet about it all, and most of all thanks to Martin for putting it in his weekly news email. (I also now found a note about it in the very small print on the back of my bill).
    Oh and from Frans useful link - Consumer Council for Water
    Quote “If any surface water from your property enters into a public sewer then you will have to pay the charge. If surface water does not enter a public sewer then you may qualify for a reduction in your charge.”
    So if you aren’t paying then you should be claiming. And
    Quote “This change is designed not to affect a company's finances. For every customer who does not pay the charge all others have to pay slightly more”.
    That’s a pity because it kind of obviates Martins objective of getting our own back on the big guys.
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