Water Bill Doubled?!

Hi All

I am asking this on behalf of my friend. She lives in a 2 bedroom terraced house, fairly new build (older than 5 years but less than 10).

Her water bill is normally around £45 per month (in the North West if this helps!). However, this last month she has been charged £85 out of the blue!

She called up the water provider and asked was this because she has been letting her bf have showers/baths there. The person told her that she didn't think that would have made her bill double and couldn't tell her any more.

I have asked her if she is on a meter and she's not sure, how would she find out if she was? As the water provider?

Does anyone know any reasons as to how this bill might have suddenly doubled? I was wondering if maybe they do billing similar to gas/electric, that the account has been using more than is paid for and suddenly the monthly bill has gone up that way?


  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 11,973
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    What does the bill say - are there meter readings?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,573
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    edited 4 February 2016 at 3:57PM
    There are generally two ways to get charged for water. Either by rateable value, in which case the bill is fixed no matter how much water you consume or it's metered. Meter billing is variable depnding on how much water you use, just like leccy or gas.

    Just like leccy & gas, the water co will estimate how much you will use and determine your DD based on the estimate. If, when the meter is read you've used more than the estimate, then you've got to pay more. If you've used less then you should get some moeny back.

    You need to check the bills to see whether they are based on rateable valuse or on meter readings. If on meter reading then go and check the meter to see if the bill is correct.

    As meters only get read once or twice a year you can end up with quite big anomolies. especially if you are unfortunate enough to have a leak during that time, a leaky toilet cistern for instance.

    Some showers can also use more water than you realise, especially if you spend a long time standing in the shower and have a lot of them. Likewise lots of baths use a tremendous amount of water

    It wouldn't be difficult to increase your water bill by over £100 a year by doubling the number of showers that you have. Try fitting a flow reducer to the shower and restricting the amount of time you stand there to five minute or less
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    A property less than 10 years old is probably metered, but a glance at the bill will tell your friend all she needs to know. Yes, if so, it's likely that a recent meter read has resulted in a debit on the account, and so the DD has been increased to cover it.
    Supplying your own readings regularly can prevent this, as many water co's only read once or twice a year.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    All properties built since April 1990 are metered; so the property is metered.

    Assuming that the company is United Utilities(who cover the North West) the charges are shown here:


    Assuming the lady lives on her own, a single person with average consumption(55m3 pa) would pay a max of £294 - £25 a month. So it is difficult to see how her monthly bill would be £45, let alone £85.

    As far as I am aware United utilities do not bill monthly, so presumably her DD has increased to £85.
  • EmmyLou30
    EmmyLou30 Posts: 599
    First Anniversary First Post
    As Cardew points out, she will definitely be on a meter. A single person would be going some to use £20 a month (water and sewage combined), our bill is only £23 for two of us....so I'd question if she already had a leak that's now just got a whole heap worse.....with the water logged ground we all have after this winter she might not have spotted a leak on her supply pipe in her front lawn or something.
    She needs to turn off her stop tap inside and see if the dial on the meter is still whizzing round, if it is, she has a leak and she knows it's between the two stop taps!
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