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Can we challenge an assessed water charge?

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Can we challenge an assessed water charge?

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Water Bills
8 replies 2.5K views
megc_2megc_2 Forumite
142 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Water Bills
We have had a water meter for the last 3 years and paid £26 a month by direct debit for our water usage.
We have just moved to a new property which is not on a meter but has an assessed charge. When it was last surveyed in 2005 it was not possible to fit a meter as it was on a shared supply with the next door property.
We have requested a further meter survey but the current assessed charge is £46 a month, almost double our previous payments.
My question is whether it might be possible to challenge the level of the assessed charge, which I understand is basically an estimation of average usage, given that the water company knows our actual water usage level over the last 3 years.
Any help wi5h this would be great. Thanks
Halifax Credit Card: [STRIKE]£4915[/STRIKE] NEXT Directory: [STRIKE]£1980[/STRIKE]
JD Williams: [STRIKE]£1984[/STRIKE] British Gas: [STRIKE]£394[/STRIKE] First Direct [STRIKE]£2985[/STRIKE]
Debt-free for over 2 years now!!! :j

Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Which company covers this new house?

    How many bedrooms and people in the new house.
  • matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    Check carefully the criteria of the assessment as you might end up paying even more if it's assessed on people rather than the number of rooms.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • RaxielRaxiel Forumite
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    Double check with them about a meter too. We are on a shared supply so they fitted an internal meter right after the stop tap.

    Perhaps the previous occupant refused an internal meter, or it wasn't practical to fit one at the time (we had to do a small bit of re-plumbing to allow them to fit the meter before any junctions). Worth asking them.
  • megc_2megc_2 Forumite
    142 posts
    Thanks. It is 3 bedrooms and supplied by united Utilities. There are 2 of us, which is no change to the last 3 years when we have had a water meter.

    We are requesting a new survey for a meter as it appears that an extension has been completed and the stopcock is on an outside wall now, which makes me think it may no longer be a shared supply, or might at least be possible to fit a meter.

    Matelodave- an assessed charge is set by a water company based on what they think an average family would use. It’s usually lower than the rateable bills and is applied when you can’t have a meter for some reason. So we already know the figure for that. But it’s still almost double what we have paid when we have had a meter for the water we actually use.
    Halifax Credit Card: [STRIKE]£4915[/STRIKE] NEXT Directory: [STRIKE]£1980[/STRIKE]
    JD Williams: [STRIKE]£1984[/STRIKE] British Gas: [STRIKE]£394[/STRIKE] First Direct [STRIKE]£2985[/STRIKE]
    Debt-free for over 2 years now!!! :j
  • teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    Have you tried the usage assessment on your supplier's webpage ? I used ours with exaggerated usage,such as cleaning 4 cars per week and watering the garden regularly and still came out as saving.


    When I booked(no survey to pay for and I think the meter was in after two weeks) they gave me a usage estimate which had a higher cost than my exaggerated one and payments at their rate were made until the first reading, when the amount dropped to under £4 a month to make up for overpayment.


    I was told I could have an external meter as there regular access points on the pavement, but when the man arrived he said outdoor would take at least 6 weeks as they had to gather road diggers and barriers etc as well as having someone measuring up, so I opted for under the sink.


    Meanwhile, you can opt for the surface water to be charged according to type of home, rather than by RV, as that saves money for most.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    teddysmum wrote: »

    Meanwhile, you can opt for the surface water to be charged according to type of home, rather than by RV, as that saves money for most.

    All the water companies have different ways of charging for surface water.

    The system you are describing is how Severn Trent charge. The OP is with United Utilities and I don't believe they have the same system:

    https://www.unitedutilities.com/services/your-bill/our-charges-20172018/how-bills-for-households-without-a-meter-are-changing-for-20172018/
  • edited 2 December 2017 at 11:21AM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 2 December 2017 at 11:21AM
    Here are the assessed charges for UI.

    https://www.unitedutilities.com/services/your-bill/our-charges-20172018/

    You'll note that they are based on the type of premisies, flat, detached or semi-detached rather than the number of people or even number of bedrooms unless you are a single person household.

    The only way you are likely to reduce your charge is by getting a meter fitted
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • megc_2megc_2 Forumite
    142 posts
    Thanks everyone. We have requested another survey to see if they can fit a meter so will wait to see what they say.
    Halifax Credit Card: [STRIKE]£4915[/STRIKE] NEXT Directory: [STRIKE]£1980[/STRIKE]
    JD Williams: [STRIKE]£1984[/STRIKE] British Gas: [STRIKE]£394[/STRIKE] First Direct [STRIKE]£2985[/STRIKE]
    Debt-free for over 2 years now!!! :j
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