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legal water and electric sharing

in Water bills
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I contacted Northumbrian Water today and was quite surprised with their response.A business and i use this loosely have for the last five years used a neighbours garden tap to fill up tractor loads of water. Which they then use on their business premises and take some to another site ,also to water their horses and to use use in their caravan .
Northumbrian water did visit the site and the owner of the house had given their permission for the business to do this,so they told me although they don't condone this practice they could do very little.
I explained that I then could also water share with my neighbours and supply several businesses along the way avoiding business water rates.
I feel honest business and householders with water meters struggling to pay bills are subsidizing these dishonest people.They also Have an Electric Lead coming from the neighbours house supplying their electric.:mad:
Has anyone got any help or views on this? thanks

Replies

  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    In what way do you want help as its not your business .
    You have contacted the supplier end of nothing much you can do .
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    The Northumbrian Water person you spoke to is talking rubbish and is not aware of information published on their own website:

    https://www.nwl.co.uk/_assets/documents/NW_dWRMP_Addendum_-_JAN14.pdf

    Selective metering of large domestic water users

    All water companies in England and Wales have powers to meter domestic properties that are deemed large water users. This does not refer to occupancy of a property but is mainly associated with customers who want to use a garden sprinkler, or similar non-handheld watering device or properties where potable water is used to fill a swimming pool or pond greater than 10,000 litres capacity. There are a few other uses that could be selectively metered but these tend to be internal uses of water such as certain power showers and water softeners that we rarely would have knowledge of.

    We inform our customers that if they wish to use a garden sprinkler, or install a swimming pool or pond above the stated capacity they will need to have a meter installed. The majority are then classed as optants. If we discover an unmetered property using a sprinkler or having a swimming pool/large pond, in the first instance, we advise them of the need to have a meter. Most comply and are counted as optants. The few that do not, we selectively meter.

    The house in question is clearly a large domestic user and as such could, and should, be selected for metering.

    Northumbrian Water, like any other water company, are Authorised by the Regulator to raise £xxx in revenue, and this money is collected from all consumers.

    If the business taking water from this unmetered house is escaping payment of, say, £1,000, then this is in effect paid for by all other water customers.

    If you feel strongly enough about the practice, threaten Northumbrian that you will report their stance to the Regulator Ofwat.
  • Thanks Cardew for your response and information. I am following this up. Otherwise, why is everyone else paying water rates.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    The problem in simple terms is that water companies are guaranteed their revenue and profit margin in a 5 year plan. So there really is no incentive to enforce some measures.

    For instance all water companies have had the power since April 1990 to insist on a meter being fitted when occupants change. Only a few companies have enforced that provision the rest cannot be bothered as there is no financial incentive for the companies - they get their money regardless.

    Had that provision been enforced over the last 24 years there would be very few unmetered houses and a far fairer system would be in place.

    Unmetered properties should inform the water company if there have been substantial changes to the property and be put on a meter. I know of a 2 bed cottage near me that was almost derelict and has a peppercorn Rateable Value. It was demolished and full planning permission given for a huge 3 storey 7 bedroom house - that still retains the same Rateable Value.

    The Council correctly placed it in Band G for Council Tax as they scrutinise the planning applications. The water companies don't bother - again no financial incentive.

    Several cases reported on MSE of large houses being split into flats and only one flat pays any water charges.
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