Can my water bill be incorrect?

Hello, I need some help working out why my water bill has increased so much please. I am on a water meter and have been since I moved in 2 years ago. I live in a 2 bed house, it's just me and my 5 year old.
When I moved into the house I was sent a payment plan of £18 per month. I paid this for 6 months. I ended up in credit so the next 6 months payment plan was also set as £18 per month, and also the 6 months after that.
So basically, I paid £18 per month for my water usage for a year and a half. According to my bills, I was using on average 26-29 cubic meters (m3) of water every 6 months. I was always in credit by a few pounds.
In February 2016 I had a slimline dishwasher fitted. I always fully load this and use it about 2 to 3 times a week. In July 2016 I had my new bill for the next 6 months which stated I had used 102 (m3) cubic metres of water in 6 months and my bill was to go up to £49 a month (an increase of £31 a month). Apparently this was from an actual meter reading from my water meter.
Is it really possible that a dishwasher is using an extra 77 m3 of water every 6 months? That's costing me £31 a month to use a dishwasher twice a week!
Does this sound right? Or could they have read my meter reading wrong? Does anyone else use 102 m3 or water in 6 months? It's just a massive jump from me using 26-29 m3 before I got the dishwasher!


  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,573
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    Have your previous bills been against actual readings or were they based on estimates and now they've caught up.

    The obvious answer to a question like this is to read your own meter regularly so you know exactly what you use and when it's being used. It's the only way to keep track of it.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    edited 14 September 2016 at 9:12PM
    The first thing to establish is have any of your bills been based on estimated readings; this is normally denoted by an (E) e.g. 12345(E)

    Your consumption(pre-dishwasher) at 26-29m3 for 6 months is well below average for a two person family - the UK average is 110m3 pa.

    Your dishwasher consumption will be very small against those figures. According to WHICH the best uses 10 litres for a full load, the worse 21 litres. So taking the worst example using 3 washes per week that means it will use 1.6m3 in a 6 month period.

    If estimated meter readings are not the cause, it is possible you have a leak after your meter. Internally in the house the most likely culprit is a leaking toilet cistern; these can leak silently into the toilet bowl and can be intermittent; OK after one flush, leaking after the next.

    If your meter is outside on the pavement, the leak could be between the meter and house.

    It is very easy to determine if you have a leak. Before you go out somewhere for a few hours, note the exact reading on a meter(including the red digits) and compare when you get back - obviously the reading should be the same.
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