Overcharged water bill

Over the weekend my girlfriends other compained about the size of the water bill.

When we looked we were shocked to find out it was over £120 per month.

We quickly chatted to her next door neighbours who said they were on a water meter and their bill came in at about £30 per month.

Girlfriends mother is ninety years old and lives in an old large house by herself. but does not waste water ie she showers rather than has a bath. Never uses a hosepipe.

It appears she has been paying over the odds for ten years when her husband died. Ten years ago she rang up and got bill transferred into her name and gave reason but no one from water company told her she would be better off by having a meter.

Is it likely she could get any money back from the over payments she has made over the years?

Thanks in advance


  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Unlikely as she has been on the normal system and not overpaid anything .A water meter may or may not have worked out cheaper . The bill from the water company usually gives enough information to change to a metered system .
    Yes 90 years old is unlikely to take much notice of such as that is the way she has always paid water bills on the rateable value of the property .
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    She and husband will have been paying a lot more than needed since 1990 or when ever they moved in if after that date.

    They have been paying charges based on the Rateable Value(RV) of the house instead of metered charges.

    On every bill will be information about getting a meter.

    It is also pertinent to point out that this is the system laid down in Law(the Water Act) and something about which the water companies have no discretion,
    It is also pertinent to point out that the water companies do not make any extra profit from RV charges. They are allowed by the regulator to raise a certain amount of revenue, so it doesnt matter how that is raised.
  • Thanks for the quick replies.

    I have filled in a firm which states what she would pay using a water meter. And over estimated everything and it came in at £200 per year. So she has been paying £1000 more per year than she should.

    The only bit on bill about meters is along the lines of 'to find out about having a meter fitted visit ....'

    If Yorkshire Water wanted to encourage people to pay for what they use then information about potential savings.
    English is her second language and she is of the age she trusts all institutions to be acting in her best interests.

    A manager from company us suppose to be ringing me tomorrow when I cam hopefully arrange a meter fitting as quickly as possible.

    I disagree with the comment that she has been over charged as she has been paying five times more than she should. It's not like the water company have delivered that water and collected and treated it. But I do appreciate the point that you have made with regards to the company have to raise revenue and if everyone who is in similar situation fitted meters then the companies would have to raise the same amount of money and therefore everyone's bills would increase but I do strongly believe that there must be a whole section of people who are paying over the odds. And these people are old, may not have access to Internet, struggle to pay bills not knowing there is a way to reduce.


  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Water utility co's have been sending out leaflets with bills encouraging people to consider having meters fitted for decades now. How much more do you expect them to do? I suggest you also check what electricity/gas tariff she is on, as very likely to be an expensive default Standard tariff.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    There is not much point ingetting into semantics about 'overcharging'; the water company are collecting what the law lays down they will collect.

    The RV was the system for 'local taxation' before the poll tax and now council tax. The last general assessment for RV was in 1973.

    You are absolutely correct that many people - often old - should have changed to a meter. However it has been calculated that about 40% of properties are better off without a meter.
  • Thank you for all your replies.

    Supervisor is ringing later on and a water meter had been ordered,
    Just needing to placate an upset grandmother (girlsfriends mum) who is stressed as she is realising she has spent more than ten thousand pounds over the last ten years needlessly which could have been spent on herself, children and grand children.
  • t0rt0ise
    t0rt0ise Posts: 4,202
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Don't forget that sewage charges also have to be paid. If you didn't take that into account with your calculation then that will add to the cost even after a meter is installed.
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