Water Meter Dispute

I have recently had a water meter fitted and my bill has gone down from £45 a month to £19 can i claim back the last 18 years of over charging?
:D

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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Welcome to the forum.


    You haven't been overcharged!



    You have had the option to switch to a meter at any time in those 18 years but chose not to do so - or hadn't read the literature that comes with the bill that tells you about meters.
  • Paul_Kara
    Paul_Kara Posts: 12
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    Thanks Cardew, I did look into getting a water meter fitted a good few years ago the paper work I received from Thames Water was probably 20 pages! so like most didn't bother (that was probably the aim!) maybe I was not overcharged...........but was charged an inflated gueestimate! i will call them this week and see how i get on :j
  • giraffe69
    giraffe69 Posts: 3,546
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    If you were on the standard gas tariff and then found that for years you could have switched to a cheaper one then that is tough.
    You didn't need to read through 20+ pages from Thames Water. A meter has been well known to be cheaper for many people for many years so I don't think TW will be returning any money to you. You weren't charged a "guesstimate" You were charged according to the rateable value of your house (as set in about 1991)
  • Takmon
    Takmon Posts: 1,738
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    Paul_Kara wrote: »
    Thanks Cardew, I did look into getting a water meter fitted a good few years ago the paper work I received from Thames Water was probably 20 pages! so like most didn't bother (that was probably the aim!) maybe I was not overcharged...........but was charged an inflated gueestimate! i will call them this week and see how i get on :j

    You were not charged an "inflated guesstimate", you were charged a set fee based on the rateable value of your home which was calculated before 1990 by an independent party. This is not something you can challenge and is a fixed value.

    Like Cardew said the only person to blame is yourself for not getting a water meter before now. The water companies actually want everyone on a meter (all properties built since 1990 have one) so they wouldn't put barriers in place to stop you getting one.
  • Paul_Kara
    Paul_Kara Posts: 12
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    giraffe69 wrote: »
    If you were on the standard gas tariff and then found that for years you could have switched to a cheaper one then that is tough.
    You didn't need to read through 20+ pages from Thames Water. A meter has been well known to be cheaper for many people for many years so I don't think TW will be returning any money to you. You weren't charged a "guesstimate" You were charged according to the rateable value of your house (as set in about 1991)

    The 20 approx pages was in regard to the installation so did need to be read thoroughly :T as you mentioned "cheaper for many people" but not all :A Thames Water had no idea how many people lived at the property so yes was a guesstimate :T
  • Paul_Kara
    Paul_Kara Posts: 12
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    edited 23 April 2019 at 2:50PM
    Takmon wrote: »
    You were not charged an "inflated guesstimate", you were charged a set fee based on the rateable value of your home which was calculated before 1990 by an independent party. This is not something you can challenge and is a fixed value.

    Like Cardew said the only person to blame is yourself for not getting a water meter before now. The water companies actually want everyone on a meter (all properties built since 1990 have one) so they wouldn't put barriers in place to stop you getting one.

    So how was the rateable value worked out then when the "independent party" had no idea of consumption or how many people lived at the adress :T
  • Carrot007
    Carrot007 Posts: 4,534
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    Paul_Kara wrote: »
    So how was the rateable value worked out then when the "independent party" had no idea of consumption or usage :T


    If only there were sites that told you the simple calculation they used ;-)
  • Takmon
    Takmon Posts: 1,738
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    edited 23 April 2019 at 3:12PM
    Paul_Kara wrote: »
    The 20 approx pages was in regard to the installation so did need to be read thoroughly :T as you mentioned "cheaper for many people" but not all :A Thames Water had no idea how many people lived at the property so yes was a guesstimate :T
    Paul_Kara wrote: »
    So how was the rateable value worked out then when the "independent party" had no idea of consumption or how many people lived at the adress :T

    You seem to be completely missing the point we are making. To quote the water regulator ofwat:

    "Rateable Values were an assessment of the annual rental value of a property"

    (Read all about it here: https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/your-water-bill/unmetered/)

    The Rateable Value has Nothing to do with how much water they think you will use.

    So if you don't have a water meter you simply pay a charge based on this value which then lets you use water at your property.

    If you decide it's too high you have the option to change to a water meter and pay only for what you use.

    They are two different ways of paying for water usage and the important bit is that when you pay water rates they aren't guessing how much you will use and it has nothing to do with how much they think you will be using.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Paul_Kara wrote: »
    So how was the rateable value worked out then when the "independent party" had no idea of consumption or how many people lived at the adress :T


    The main purpose of the Rateable Value(RV) of a property was for collection of 'local taxes' before the introduction of 'Poll Tax' and the current Council Tax.



    You can research 'RV assessment' yourself, but essentially it was based on the estimated rent the property could command - not the value of a property. Many factors affected RV - size, location, modernisation, local amenities etc etc. For England and Wales most properties were last assessed in 1971, or in any case before April 1990 when RV was abolished for collection of local taxes.


    In April 1990 water meters were mandatory for new properties. However existing properties had the choice of remaining on RV based charges. Some properties with a low RV and several occupants were better off remaining on RV charges.


    Leaving aside the 20 page document, most water companies refer to meters in the bumph they send out with the annual water bill.
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