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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Archna
    • By MSE Archna 5th Mar 08, 11:06 AM
    • 1,874Posts
    • 6,140Thanks
    MSE Archna
    Cheaper Water Bills Article Discussion
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 08, 11:06 AM
    Cheaper Water Bills Article Discussion 5th Mar 08 at 11:06 AM




    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
    Last edited by MSE Researcher; 14-06-2010 at 4:19 PM.
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




Page 1
  • markmas
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 08, 12:59 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 08, 12:59 PM
    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 Archna
    • By MSE Archna 5th Mar 08, 1:52 PM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 6,140 Thanks
    MSE Archna
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 08, 1:52 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 08, 1:52 PM
    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.

    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.
    Originally posted by markmas
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




  • gingertop01
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 08, 3:01 PM
    Savings on Water Bills
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 08, 3:01 PM
    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 Archna
    • By MSE Archna 5th Mar 08, 3:48 PM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 6,140 Thanks
    MSE Archna
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 08, 3:48 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 08, 3:48 PM
    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
    Originally posted by gingertop01
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




    • historian
    • By historian 5th Mar 08, 4:12 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    historian
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 08, 4:12 PM
    Water meter
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 08, 4:12 PM
    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?
    • wonko
    • By wonko 5th Mar 08, 5:25 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    wonko
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 08, 5:25 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 08, 5:25 PM
    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
    Last edited by wonko; 10-03-2008 at 11:05 PM.
  • markmas
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 08, 6:05 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 08, 6:05 PM
    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.

    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.
    Originally posted by MSE Archna
    • ccygirl
    • By ccygirl 5th Mar 08, 6:09 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    ccygirl
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 08, 6:09 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 08, 6:09 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by MSE Archna
    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.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 5th Mar 08, 10:01 PM
    • 27,366 Posts
    • 13,390 Thanks
    Cardew
    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.
  • robpitt
    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)?
  • robpitt
    *****! I just completed the USwitch test and it estimates my bill would be just !!!163;142 on a meter - thats a saving of !!!163;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 !!!163;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?
    Last edited by robpitt; 05-03-2008 at 10:42 PM.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Mar 08, 12:26 AM
    • 27,366 Posts
    • 13,390 Thanks
    Cardew
    *****! 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?
    Originally posted by robpitt
    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 Archna
    • By MSE Archna 6th Mar 08, 3:09 PM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 6,140 Thanks
    MSE Archna
    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

    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.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Report inappropriate posts: forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com




    • pkempc
    • By pkempc 6th Mar 08, 5:09 PM
    • 122 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    pkempc
    Pay your Thames Water Bill online by cashback credit card
    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.

    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!
  • ssmoremoney
    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.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 7th Mar 08, 9:54 AM
    • 27,366 Posts
    • 13,390 Thanks
    Cardew
    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.
    Originally posted by ssmoremoney
    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.
    • skull
    • By skull 7th Mar 08, 10:43 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    skull
    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?
    Originally posted by historian
    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?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 7th Mar 08, 11:37 AM
    • 27,366 Posts
    • 13,390 Thanks
    Cardew
    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?
    Originally posted by skull
    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!!!
    • Mobeer
    • By Mobeer 7th Mar 08, 11:02 PM
    • 1,717 Posts
    • 4,402 Thanks
    Mobeer
    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!!!
    Originally posted by Cardew
    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.
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