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Help, horrendous 1st water bill after 18 months.

in Water bills
6 replies 981 views
donnadonna Forumite
165 Posts

i'm at my wits end as i got my first water bill 3 months ago after 18 months of moving into my property. It was for nearly £600!!! The opening reading was an estimate on the bill so i called them and said i thought the bill was too much for a family of 4. We were asked to read the meter and then read it again in 7 days and then call back with the reading so they could work out what our useage was and send out a new bill. When we called with the new readings he said we seemed to of used too little and that he thought we may of read the meter wrong. I explained i was 8 months pregnant(at that time) and my husband that read the meter said it was quite far underground but he was sure he read it correctly. We where asked to read it again in another 7 days. I recommended that they should come twice and do their own readings so that they could be sure of the reading being correct. A few days later they came and read the meter, but then a few days after that the cheeky beggers sent us a letter asking us to take another reading. I called them and said they could come and do it themselves as they were not happy with our first set of readings. They have not done that and again have sent us out a bill with the opening reading as an estimate! The bill is £500 and odd. I have again called but they are just asking me to set up a payment arrangement and take another reading myself but are not interested in getting a correct opening reading.

What can i do as i have a 7 week old baby and am recovering from an emergency cesarian and also am having problems with my transfer from British Gas to Scotish Power and an overpayment of family tax credits from 4 years ago!!! I really can't cope with the stress of this right now. :(

Can anyone please help me?


  • Exactly how much water, in cubic meters, does the latest bill state has been used? Allowing for a conservative 100 litres per person per day, over an 18 month period, for 4 people that equates to 219 cubic meters.
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    As 'maninthestreet' states above his estimate of 219 cubic metres is conservative.

    The average consumption is 60 cubic metres per person per year. So for a family of 4 over 18 months the average consumption would be 360 cubic metres.

    Prices vary across the country but a bill of '£500 odd' does not sound excessive I am afraid.

    You haven't said why they didn't send you a bill; presumably you let them know you were in residence?

    If it is their fault they didn't send you a bill for 18 months you should be able get some 'discount' off the total and be able to pay back what you owe over 18 months.
  • donnadonna Forumite
    165 Posts

    they are charging for 213 cm.

    I called before i moved from my old house to cancel the DD for my rates there and to give them my new address then never heard from them until 18 months later.

    I had the same trouble with BG, i paid DD for gas and electric for 18 months but never had 1 bill so decided to transfer to SP and then all of a sudden i get a bill. When my DD payments had been deducted i owed them very little and when they rang me to chase the payment i kindly pointed out that after my promise of 1 month free gas(joining offer) and winter rebate discounts where applied(which they hadn't done) it worked out that they owed me money. Quite conveniently i was told they would look into the afore mentioed discounts and call me back and yes you guessed it, i haven't heard a dicky bird. They owe me nearly £150!

    Scotish power are being just as slack. Since i switched the only letter they have sent me is to say that they are puting my DD up from £52 to £81 per month! How can they do that when i haven't even had a bill yet? To make matters even more confusing BG recently sent me a gas bill and SP are my providers!!!!

    I give up :(

    Please can someone advise on having a pre-payment meter installed, ie are they more expensive, does it cost to get one, if i ever sell my house can it be removed ect?
  • 213 cubic metres is about 100 litres a day, so your water comsumption is a lower than expected, compared to the average.
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
    11.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Uniform Washer
    Did you take a reading when you moved in 18 months ago ?
  • There is a web page for:
    Consumer Council for Water The details are on the back of your bill. Thay will do the calulations for you and advise if you are being changed correctly.
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