Rocketing water bill - any chance to challenge?

My monthly water bill two years ago was £33 per month. Last year it was £56 per month. This year it's over £70 a month.

I don't believe our household water usage has doubled in that time, so I'm a little dismayed that our bill has increased to this degree. Is there any mechanism in place whereby I could dispute this, complain, haggle, or otherwise kick up a fuss? I gather it's not possible to simply switch water supplier in the same way one could switch broadband or gas supplier.

This is Thames Water, and as I live in a council let property I don't believe I have a water meter. For that matter I'm not sure I'm entitled to have one installed.
: )
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  • Interesting - I dont have any answers to this, but looking in to the same problem for a friend on a very low income also living in a Council flat - he said his bills had increased to over a thousand a year.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    My monthly water bill two years ago was £33 per month. Last year it was £56 per month. This year it's over £70 a month.

    I don't believe our household water usage has doubled in that time, so I'm a little dismayed that our bill has increased to this degree. Is there any mechanism in place whereby I could dispute this, complain, haggle, or otherwise kick up a fuss? I gather it's not possible to simply switch water supplier in the same way one could switch broadband or gas supplier.

    This is Thames Water, and as I live in a council let property I don't believe I have a water meter. For that matter I'm not sure I'm entitled to have one installed.


    If you have a water meter it will show on the bill how much water you have used.


    Every property can apply for a water meter. If it is not possible to fit a meter, which is often the case with older flats, you will be offered an 'assessed bill'.


    Thames Water have not doubled their rates in two years, so there is another factor causing such an increase. Has there been some sort of council subsidy that has been withdrawn?


    If you post more details of your latest bill, we might be able to help.
  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871
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    My monthly water bill two years ago was £33 per month. Last year it was £56 per month. This year it's over £70 a month.

    I don't believe our household water usage has doubled in that time, so I'm a little dismayed that our bill has increased to this degree. Is there any mechanism in place whereby I could dispute this, complain, haggle, or otherwise kick up a fuss?
    Contact thames water and ask them to explain the increase. https://corporate.thameswater.co.uk/Contact-Us
  • Flobberchops
    Flobberchops Posts: 1,279
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    Many thanks for the suggestions. Will report back with any progress...
    : )
  • Londoner_1
    Londoner_1 Posts: 180
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    1) Check you don't have a leak outside your property.

    2) Unit price of water may have rocketed, hence increase.

    I think 2.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,568
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    edited 31 March 2019 at 2:19PM
    First of all check your bill to see if it's metered or on Rateable Value. If it's metered then go and find the meter, read it and check that the reading is somewhere close to the bill reading. If not get it corrected.

    If you bill is calculated on rateable values then you will probably be better off get a meter installed. I pay £23 a month on a meter instead of £60-£65 if I'd stayed on rateable value. The advantage of a meter is that you pay for what you use so you can control your bill by controlling your consumption

    Looking for leaks when you don't have a meter is a good idea but wont actually have any effect on the size of your bill.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • moremore
    moremore Posts: 518 Forumite
    Interesting - I dont have any answers to this, but looking in to the same problem for a friend on a very low income also living in a Council flat - he said his bills had increased to over a thousand a year.

    Councils tenants with income less than 16K pa do not have to say what disability you are getting their charges reduced to 50%. This has been in operation since 2014 council did advice tenants of it will have to take it to citizen advice office for advice. I anyone knows if they got it back from council since 2014 please advice :T
  • icklesurfer
    icklesurfer Posts: 54
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    Honestly I've had the EXACT same issue with Welsh Water. I've gone from £35 to £70 with no real reason. I've called them to ask them to come and inspect my flat for leaks. They've told me that what they do is switch off all the water inside the flat then check to see if the meter is still clocking. I'm not sure what happens after that. I'll let you know!
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    You can very simply do that procedure yourself. Turn everything off at the stopcock downstream of the meter, and then see if the meter moves.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • icklesurfer
    icklesurfer Posts: 54
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    macman wrote: »
    You can very simply do that procedure yourself. Turn everything off at the stopcock downstream of the meter, and then see if the meter moves.

    I live in a flat so that's just not possible for me otherwise i would have.
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