Welsh water high bill - no appeal process

I feel I am being over charged by WW as I have had a very high bill from them for this coming year of £641.14 (£64.21 a month). I live in a 2 bed, 1 bath/shower, 1 loo semi in social housing in a more deprived area of Cardiff with my adult daughter.

Everyone I have spoken to without reservation have said their bill is lower and are shocked that the bill is that big for the property that I have. my sisters water bill is £54 a month and she has a 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 shower 3 loo house in a posh area of Cardiff.

WW have said there is no mistake and that the bill is set by the rateable value (rentable value) of the house, but I am in social housing and pay a fairly low rent of £420 a month, whereas my sister could get £800+ a month for hers yet her bill is lower. I actually private rented the exact same house style 16 yrs. ago and paid £575 a month then!

I have made 3 calls to WW but each time it's the same, there is nothing they can do as the rateable value CANNOT be changed and all they can do is fit a meter. But I don't want a meter and feel my bill is wrong and feel I have overpaid for several years so I want to appeal and try to get a rebate from them for over charging but am being told this is not possible.


Does anyone know if there is anything I can do?

Comments

  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    edited 26 February 2016 at 4:51PM
    Apart from get a meter, there is nothing you can do.

    The last general assessment of Rateable Value(RV) in England and Wales for existing properties was in 1973, and the RV as a means of assessing 'local taxes' finished in April 1990 - it became the poll tax and then the current Council Tax.

    The RV was set by the local council and not the water company, and in theory was the rent the property would realise in 1973 or up to 1990 if built later. The criteria for the RV was based on many factors - area, amenities, bus routes, schooling, modernised etc. This has led to some silly RV assessments. I know of £million + mansions in the highest Council Tax band that have a stupidly low RV - lower than a 2 bed estate semi in the same area. This was because in 1973 it was a virtually derelict mansion that nobody would rent. Despite it now being modernised it has kept the same low RV. It should have had a meter fitted, but nobody bothers.

    WW are quite correct that there is nothing they, or the Council, can do to change the RV - the law simply will not allow it to be changed. So you haven't been overcharged, WW have no choice in the matter and unless you get a meter that RV will be the basis of your charges.

    What is the reason you don't want a meter? For two people your bill for average use would be less than a half of your current bill. Also there are many social tariffs for those on low incomes. See charges and tariffs in this link:

    http://www.dwrcymru.com/en/My-Account/About-My-Bill/Metered-Charges.aspx


    I would add that if you didn't like metered billing, you could revert to your current RV charging system within 12 months.
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,088 Forumite
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    edited 27 February 2016 at 12:10PM
    There is no relationship between the rent you pay and the rateable value.

    Have a meter fitted and you will probably save money.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I feel I am being over charged by WW as I have had a very high bill from them for this coming year of £641.14 (£64.21 a month). I live in a 2 bed, 1 bath/shower, 1 loo semi in social housing in a more deprived area of Cardiff with my adult daughter.

    Everyone I have spoken to without reservation have said their bill is lower and are shocked that the bill is that big for the property that I have. my sisters water bill is £54 a month and she has a 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 shower 3 loo house in a posh area of Cardiff.

    WW have said there is no mistake and that the bill is set by the rateable value (rentable value) of the house, but I am in social housing and pay a fairly low rent of £420 a month, whereas my sister could get £800+ a month for hers yet her bill is lower. I actually private rented the exact same house style 16 yrs. ago and paid £575 a month then!

    I have made 3 calls to WW but each time it's the same, there is nothing they can do as the rateable value CANNOT be changed and all they can do is fit a meter. But I don't want a meter and feel my bill is wrong and feel I have overpaid for several years so I want to appeal and try to get a rebate from them for over charging but am being told this is not possible.


    Does anyone know if there is anything I can do?

    Why do you not want a meter?

    It's highly likely you would save money.

    Welsh Water charges about £340 per year for water and sewerage on a meter with 2 occupants. That's almost half what you're paying.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,505 Forumite
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    Another supporter of meters in Welsh Water area -we are paying £400 pa for two of us in a 5 bedroom detached -and we don't particularly try to save water -we water the garden and have a power shower!!
  • cajef
    cajef Posts: 6,266 Forumite
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    WW have said there is no mistake and that the bill is set by the rateable value (rentable value) of the house,
    Rateable value and rental value are two entirely different things and there is no connection between them.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    edited 27 February 2016 at 12:50PM
    cajef wrote: »
    Rateable value and rental value are two entirely different things and there is no connection between them.


    That isn't quite correct. Whilst there is currently no connection, the whole basis for the Rateable Value assessment was the rental value. As I stated in post#2:
    The RV was set by the local council and not the water company, and in theory was the rent the property would realise in 1973 or up to 1990 if built later. The criteria for the RV was based on many factors - area, amenities, bus routes, schooling, modernised etc.
    See also:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rates_in_the_United_Kingdom
    Rates on residential property were based on the nominal rental value,


    So Welsh Water were correct in telling the OP that Rateable Value was based on Rental Value, but omitted to mention that system ended in April 1990.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,088 Forumite
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    Fit a meter (no charge to you whatsoever). If no cheaper, you can then revert to RV billing in the first 12 months, also without charge. It really is a no-brainer.
    But there is no provision for any kind of rebate, because you have been correctly charged based on RV billing.-which you have chosen to remain on.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,606 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    I don't live in Wales but for me a meter is a no brainer, just the standing charge (supply & sewerage) comes to £501 plus 28p per £ of RV and that's with AnglianWater

    On a meter my standing charge is just £115 plus £3.13 per cu.m (supply & sewerage). we use around 65cu.m = about £320 a year, saving at least £200.

    Do your own sums. As said above, you can try it out for 12 months and revert to RV if you don't save money.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
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