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Cheaper Water Bills Article Discussion

edited 14 June 2010 at 4:19PM in Water Bills
489 replies 203.2K views
MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Senior ResearcherFormer MSE
1.9K posts
MSE Staff
edited 14 June 2010 at 4:19PM in Water Bills



This thread is specifically to discuss the content of the

Slash The Cost Of Water Bills

To discuss or ask a question about this article: click reply
«13456749

Replies

  • markmasmarkmas Forumite
    46 posts
    It says in the article that having a water meter may effect your house price when you sell your house. However, in my experience when i moved house last August I was told by the water company that I had to have a water metter fitted.

    Apparently, they say, anyone moving into a house now must have a water meter fitted - This was Southern Water, but they said it was a nationwide regulation that this should happen.

    So, if that is true, then it should not effect your house price.
  • MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Senior Researcher Former MSE
    1.9K posts
    MSE Staff
    Hi markmas,

    You shouldn't have to have a water meter fitted if you're moving house. However there is talk of making water meters compulsory in areas that are water stressed - Southern Water being one of them. But this is some way off yet.

    Also if you are moving into a house that already has a water meter fitted you are unfortunately stuck with it.
    markmas wrote: »
    It says in the article that having a water meter may effect your house price when you sell your house. However, in my experience when i moved house last August I was told by the water company that I had to have a water metter fitted.

    Apparently, they say, anyone moving into a house now must have a water meter fitted - This was Southern Water, but they said it was a nationwide regulation that this should happen.

    So, if that is true, then it should not effect your house price.
  • One point that doesn't seem to be addressed is another saving.
    If your surface water (i.e. water draining from your roof etc) does not drain into the public sewer you are allowed to claim a saving from your water rates. This is if you have a soakaway.
    All you have to do is contact the utilities and they will come round and inspect your property and confirm that fact and then you will get a reduction. You have to claim, it will not be done automatically.

    Reg R
  • MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Senior Researcher Former MSE
    1.9K posts
    MSE Staff
    Hi Reg,

    Thanks for that, we actually say this in the article:

    Do you have a ‘soakaway?’

    A ‘soakaway' is a large underground pit of gravel which collects water from your roof or drive. You're more likely to have one if you live in a small town or village than an urban area. If unsure, check your property deeds or visit your local authority to look at the planning application.

    The water companies should give rebates to any customer whose surface rainwater goes into a soakaway rather than the mains sewers, this is usually between £20 and £40 and can be claimed if you are on a meter or not. To apply for a rebate, simply fill out your water company's form; call or go online to request it.

    One point that doesn't seem to be addressed is another saving.
    If your surface water (i.e. water draining from your roof etc) does not drain into the public sewer you are allowed to claim a saving from your water rates. This is if you have a soakaway.
    All you have to do is contact the utilities and they will come round and inspect your property and confirm that fact and then you will get a reduction. You have to claim, it will not be done automatically.

    Reg R
  • historianhistorian Forumite
    18 posts
    Please explain, someone. Martin has cost of Dwr Cymru metered cost for 1 in 4 bedroomed house at £153. How come I as single in 2 bedroomed bungalow pays £192?
  • wonkowonko Forumite
    67 posts
    10 Posts
    Thames Water have just informed me that yes, I can claim a rebate, but only if they check and find someone else in my area has already claimed - (how does that work the first time??)

    Apparently, having asked for it, I can now have it (based on the above) or they will send me a form to take it further in the next 10 working days...

    I also asked if I can claim this retrospectively - they didn't know but apparently, I can ask on the form....

    Will let you know what transpires.

    10 Mar, recieved confirmation of entitlement today from Thames. Have written to ask if I can claim retrospectivly on previous years. Awaiting revised bill
  • markmasmarkmas Forumite
    46 posts
    Hi Archna,
    I have found out some more information now, for all Southern Water customers in Sussex they automatically install a meter whenever there is a change of customer, ie a house move, they say in their leaflet:
    "In Sussex, we are further managing
    demand for water by installing a water
    meter at unmetered properties when there
    is a change of customer."

    From what they said to me it is compulsory, and there is no way out of it. They installed the meter a couple of days after I moved in. I was sent a letter one day and it was installed the next, before I even had a chance to query it. Perhaps this just applies to Sussex for now? It is certainly not very well advertised on Southern Waters website.
    MSE_Archna wrote: »
    Hi markmas,

    You shouldn't have to have a water meter fitted if you're moving house. However there is talk of making water meters compulsory in areas that are water stressed - Southern Water being one of them. But this is some way off yet.

    Also if you are moving into a house that already has a water meter fitted you are unfortunately stuck with it.
  • ccygirlccygirl Forumite
    128 posts
    MSE_Archna wrote: »
    Hi markmas,

    You shouldn't have to have a water meter fitted if you're moving house. However there is talk of making water meters compulsory in areas that are water stressed - Southern Water being one of them. But this is some way off yet.

    Also if you are moving into a house that already has a water meter fitted you are unfortunately stuck with it.

    When we moved 2 years ago we were told that we had no choice and had to have a water meter installed. 3 valleys do this for every newly occupied property- rented or bought.

    Fortunately this worked in our favour and our bills are approx £20 a month against a rateable bill of approx £500 per year.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    MSE Archna,

    I believe you are not correct in a couple of points you make.

    Firstly I believe that all water companies can insist that a meter is fitted when there is a change in customer.

    Some companies enforce that regulation 100% and others don't bother. There have been many posts on this subject i.e. where meters were fitted without being requested.

    Secondly Surface water drainage charges can be considerably more than the £20-£40 you state as typical. In Severn Trent a semi is £53 and a detached property £80.

    They can also charge for surface water drainage as a levy on each £1 of Rateable Value even though it has a meter fitted. For instance for my metered property this is 35.72p per £1 of RV. As my house has an RV of £700 this is a charge of over £250. You can elect for the fixed charge of £80 but unless you do elect, you will be charged as a levy on the RV.

    Incidentally had I been still assessed for all charges on my RV I would be paying over £1,300 - about £900 more than I pay on a meter.

    Water Companies have no way of changing the Rateable Value even for a whole area. RV was based on the notional rent a property could command and took into account size, land, facilities in the house(CH - bathrooms etc) location.

    It is highly likely that all houses built in the last 20 years or so will have a soakaway, you would not normally be allowed to build without one.

    It is also pertinent to point out, that having established that you are not liable for surface water charges, it is not unknown for water companies to reinstate the charge for new occupants of the same property!! Again posted on this forum.
  • robpittrobpitt Forumite
    86 posts
    I live alone in an unmetered flat and my water bill is whopping £462/year!
    This is because Thames Water have used a rateable value of 359 which I guess is qutie high. Anyone know how and where I can check the rateable value?

    Is there any way to convert the rateable value back into something meaningful (even if it is in 1990 money)?
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