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Cheaper Water Bills Article Discussion

edited 14 June 2010 at 4:19PM in Water Bills
489 replies 203.4K views
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  • robpittrobpitt Forumite
    86 posts
    *****! I just completed the USwitch test and it estimates my bill would be just £142 on a meter - thats a saving of £320!

    I will be ringing Thames tomorrow to see what they can do.

    PS final piece of info ... flat is probably worth something in the region of £220K.
    Q.Is there anyway to convert an RV back into something that we can related to? What is the abstact number 359 supposed to mean?
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    robpitt wrote: »
    *****! I just completed the USwitch test and it estimates my bill would be just £142 on a meter - thats a saving of £320!

    I will be ringing Thames tomorrow to see what they can do.

    PS final piece of info ... flat is probably worth something in the region of £220K.
    Q.Is there anyway to convert an RV back into something that we can related to? What is the abstact number 359 supposed to mean?

    No your RV will not change.

    The RV was based on the notional value the property could command as rent and not its value. It was the system in force to charge 'local taxes' - prior to 1990, it changed to the Poll Tax and now the Council Tax.

    A huge old unmodernised 10 bed mansion with 20 acres(worth £millions now and obviously Band H for council tax)) could have a lower RV than a 3 bed modern(in 1990) estate semi.(now worth, say, £150K and Band C) Those RVs are still extant.

    This was because nobody would want the upkeep of the mansion and it would not command a high rent.
  • MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Former MSE
    1.9K posts
    MSE Staff
    Hi Cardew,

    Thanks for the note. I was actually given the incorrect info from the Consumer Council for Water. You're right water companies are entitled to install a water meter when there is a change in occupancy as long as they have not yet issued a bill to the new occupier. You can see more details of this here:

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1999/19990009.htm#7
    Cardew wrote: »
    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.
  • pkempcpkempc Forumite
    124 posts
    Home Insurance Hacker!
    I used to pay my metered Thames Water bill by direct debit every month like a good boy until they decided to up my monthly amount by 162% from £ 26 to £ 42 in Aug 2005 for no good reason other than to ensure I didn't underpay. There is no discount for paying monthly ( as per other utilities ) so I told them to cancel the direct debit and I would pay their 6 monthly bills in arrears thanks all the same - thus I earn interest on the money up until the moment I pay the bill by electronic bank transfer.

    Now I can pay my Thames Water bill using a cashback credit card through their website and still pay 6 months in arrears + then get 50'ish days interest free to settle my credit card bill & for no extra fees or charges.:beer:

    http://www.thameswater.co.uk/UK/regi...nload_0012 77

    Oh and all my metered bills since Aug 2005 have worked out at as follows:-

    Jul 05 - Dec 05 - £ 119.16 ( £ 23.83 )
    Dec 05 - Jun 06 - £ 127.05 ( £ 21.18 )
    Jun 06 - Jan 07 - £ 158.95 ( £ 26.49 )
    Jan 07 - July 07 - £ 160.95 ( £ 26.83 )
    Jul 07 - Jan 08 - £ 151.33 ( £ 25.22 )
    Assume 1st – then check the facts!
  • Does anyone know how to find out what your rateable value is? My neighbour believes that our rateable value was changed when a road was built behind our homes. I want to check that my water company are using the correct figure. My bill has just come in for £763 for the year.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Does anyone know how to find out what your rateable value is? My neighbour believes that our rateable value was changed when a road was built behind our homes. I want to check that my water company are using the correct figure. My bill has just come in for £763 for the year.

    Welcome to the forum.

    Your question has come up several times and there is no way to check your RV through councils etc as they simply don't keep records. RV is used solely by Water Companies.

    You might be able to check your RV from the deeds of your house - but bear in mind there were several re-valuations, the last major one being 1971.

    However if you feel the reduction was after you bought the house it will not be recorded. Also re-valuation for things like roads tended to be minor. My In-Laws had a high security prison built on the border of their garden(high fence, floodlights, audible obscenities etc) and their RV was reduced by £10 after an appeal.

    With a bill for £763 wouldn't a meter be cheaper? You will need to use an awful lot of water - even in SW England - to have a bill of that size.
  • skullskull Forumite
    38 posts
    historian wrote: »
    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?

    Hi historian,

    You're not the only one, and so far I haven't seen an answer to your question.

    In my case there are only 2 people, living in a 3 bed semi, band C. We pay £426.36 a year, and all our drinking water comes in bottles brought from a spring at the farm where my husband works (with their permission). However I wonder if the rise is due to the £15 million cost to repair the canals that were damaged during the excessive rainfall this winter? Does anyone know why we are paying more in Wales, land of rain, than England?
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    skull wrote: »
    Hi historian,

    You're not the only one, and so far I haven't seen an answer to your question.

    In my case there are only 2 people, living in a 3 bed semi, band C. We pay £426.36 a year, and all our drinking water comes in bottles brought from a spring at the farm where my husband works (with their permission). However I wonder if the rise is due to the £15 million cost to repair the canals that were damaged during the excessive rainfall this winter? Does anyone know why we are paying more in Wales, land of rain, than England?

    SW England pay more than Wales.

    Water charges are mainly determined by the costs of water treatment and distribution.

    So having lots of water in Wales doesn't make it cheaper for you, especially as we English very kindly take a lot of it off your hands, and don't charge you for that service!!!
  • MobeerMobeer Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    SW England pay more than Wales.

    Water charges are mainly determined by the costs of water treatment and distribution.

    So having lots of water in Wales doesn't make it cheaper for you, especially as we English very kindly take a lot of it off your hands, and don't charge you for that service!!!

    The South West is unfortunate in having a long coastline and a small population - that means coastal environmental improvements cost a lot per head of population.
  • skullskull Forumite
    38 posts
    I stand corrected Mobeer & Cardew and I apologise to those who are paying more than us.
    I must admit I was going by tv news reports that people in England were worried that their water bills were going up to £300+ ,when we were already paying £400+ , and I had not taken enough time to read the rest of the thread.
    It's still a lot though, especially as we get our drinking water elsewhere.

    But I should count my blessings, at least we get water here, some people have to walk miles to get any water at all, in other countries.
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