Southern Water bullying to get more profit

in Water bills
2 replies 1.3K views
I am on an unmetered supply I live in a 4 bedroom terrace house (4 bedroom as two are in the loft) I currently pay £256 per year for water based on rateable value.

Southern have been pushing me to get a meter for two years and they can now make me do this as we are allegedly an area of high stress. So the reason for the meter according to Southern is purely to help conserve water and reduce the amount is used. 3 times their engineers have meant to come to my house to try to fit a meter twice was a no show the third time they have said that they cant fit one outside as it is a shared supply. Now they are coming to survey the inside of the property and the engineer has already told me that this will be a waste of time as they have not been able to fit them to the other three identical terrace houses in my row.

So far so good as the estimated bill for us on a meter would have been £575, we are pretty good we have an A rated washing machine and dishwasher a brick on the loo and one of those shower heads that reduces the water we use . If they cant fit a meter then I would assume that things stay as they are but oh no we go on to an assessed tarriff which is £488 pa and this apparently is to help us conserve water how ? I can understand that having meters fitted will reduce usage which is their aim but this assessed tarriff which will increase my bill by nearly 100% can not be for any reason other than increased profit can it ?

I am pretty angry on the OFWAT website it states that people will only ever be put on an assessed tariff if they have requested a water meter but Sothern have told me that does not apply to us as we are in a high stress area.

I dont doubt that £256 is cheap and when we moved here we budgeted on all bills going up 15% but what has really got my goat is that they say that the assessed tarriff will help reduce my usage but cant say why and wont admit that there is no other reason than increasing their profit

Bah humbug rant over
Its Vegas time -no longer :T a five year old has changed Vegas time to Orlando time


  • macmanmacman Forumite
    52.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Water co. finances are strictly regulated and they can only raise a set revenue per year, so any more revenue raised from one source has to be offset in another.
    You may personally feel that you cannot reduce consumption, but the general affect of a metered supply is to reduce usage.
    I'm not clear if assessed billing can be imposed in cases where a meter cannot be fitted, but OFWAT's guidelines should be clear enough. If there is no exception shown, then why don't you ask them if SW are correct or not?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    29K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    sew109 wrote: »
    increase my bill by nearly 100% can not be for any reason other than increased profit can it ?

    and wont admit that there is no other reason than increasing their profit

    Bah humbug rant over

    They won't admit it, because your accusation simply isn't true.

    As said above, the revenue, and hence profit, for all water companies is strictly controlled by the Regulator under the provisions of The Water Act. So it doesn't matter to the water company if they gain or lose £xxxxx from some customers as there will be compensating reductions or increase in charges for their other customers.

    Where people have applied for a meter, and one can't be fitted, the occupants are normally offered the choice of an assessed charge or to remain on their Rateable Value(RV) based charges. That choice was obviously not intended to save water, as you suggest, as in either case the water is not measured.

    However most people who are offered the choice opt for an assessed charge as the reason for applying for a meter was the high RV charges.

    The provision for compulsory meters was brought in by special legislation and, like the post above, I don't know if that empowers the water company to impose an assessed charge in your situation. I suggest you contact the Consumer Council For Water in the first instance for guidance.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Martin and MSE campaign win

April's 20% energy price guarantee hike postponed

MSE News

Childcare budget boost

More support for children from nine months and those on Universal Credit

MSE News

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools