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  • FIRST POST
    • Flobberchops
    • By Flobberchops 29th Mar 19, 1:04 AM
    • 1,060Posts
    • 968Thanks
    Flobberchops
    Rocketing water bill - any chance to challenge?
    • #1
    • 29th Mar 19, 1:04 AM
    Rocketing water bill - any chance to challenge? 29th Mar 19 at 1:04 AM
    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.
    I work for a UK bank, but any comments made on this forum are solely my personal opinion. Caveat Emptor!
Page 1
    • HelenFlowers
    • By HelenFlowers 29th Mar 19, 6:31 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    HelenFlowers
    • #2
    • 29th Mar 19, 6:31 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Mar 19, 6:31 AM
    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
    • By Cardew 29th Mar 19, 7:35 AM
    • 27,886 Posts
    • 13,746 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #3
    • 29th Mar 19, 7:35 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Mar 19, 7:35 AM
    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.
    Originally posted by Flobberchops

    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
    • By Norman Castle 29th Mar 19, 11:55 AM
    • 8,294 Posts
    • 7,179 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 19, 11:55 AM
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 19, 11:55 AM
    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?
    Originally posted by Flobberchops
    Contact thames water and ask them to explain the increase. https://corporate.thameswater.co.uk/Contact-Us
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • Flobberchops
    • By Flobberchops 31st Mar 19, 12:51 PM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 968 Thanks
    Flobberchops
    • #5
    • 31st Mar 19, 12:51 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Mar 19, 12:51 PM
    Many thanks for the suggestions. Will report back with any progress...
    I work for a UK bank, but any comments made on this forum are solely my personal opinion. Caveat Emptor!
    • Londoner_1
    • By Londoner_1 31st Mar 19, 1:21 PM
    • 143 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Londoner_1
    • #6
    • 31st Mar 19, 1:21 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Mar 19, 1:21 PM
    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
    • By matelodave 31st Mar 19, 2:14 PM
    • 4,532 Posts
    • 2,896 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #7
    • 31st Mar 19, 2:14 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Mar 19, 2:14 PM
    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.
    Last edited by matelodave; 31-03-2019 at 2:19 PM.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
    • moremore
    • By moremore 7th Apr 19, 6:07 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    moremore
    • #8
    • 7th Apr 19, 6:07 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Apr 19, 6:07 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by HelenFlowers
    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
    • icklesurfer
    • By icklesurfer 2nd May 19, 11:02 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    icklesurfer
    • #9
    • 2nd May 19, 11:02 AM
    • #9
    • 2nd May 19, 11:02 AM
    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
    • By macman 6th May 19, 11:54 AM
    • 43,318 Posts
    • 18,500 Thanks
    macman
    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
    • By icklesurfer 7th May 19, 8:44 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    icklesurfer
    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.
    Originally posted by macman
    I live in a flat so that's just not possible for me otherwise i would have.
    • Benight
    • By Benight 8th May 19, 3:53 PM
    • 314 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    Benight
    I live in a flat so that's just not possible for me otherwise i would have.
    Originally posted by icklesurfer
    Why not?

    If you have your own water supply, you should be able to isolate it
    If its supplied via a meter that is used to calculate what you owe, you should have access to the meter
    If it's remote from the domestic stopcock, then there is usually a stopcock next to the meter too, although I don't think you are supposed to touch that one, (if you do and you cause damage, you may have to pay for the damage caused!) but it's there so that the supply can be isolated from the meter itself.

    Btw, although not related to water, but rather to energy, as they are both metered, then the same general principles apply as in this MSE article.
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/lower-energy-direct-debits/

    HTH
    • icklesurfer
    • By icklesurfer 10th May 19, 12:30 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    icklesurfer
    Hi OP, I got my water company out today to check what was going on as I had practically the exact same issue as you.
    They've discovered that I'm being billed for someone else's meter instead of mine. The water company are looking into the bills and will get back to me in 'due course'.
    This could be what's happening with you? But be aware that if it's a leak that's causing it then the water company are only responsible for the pipes up to the water meter. Anything from that is your responsibility to fix.
    Check the meter without running any taps. if it's not turning then this could be your actual bill but also try the following:

    1. Try turning the water off from your meter tap and check if your water supply is cut - if water still comes through your taps you could be being billed on someone else's meter.

    2. If the water did stop coming through the taps then turn the meter back on and turn the stopcock in your home to 'off' to restrict the water supply in your home. If the meter is still turning you have a leak outside of the property that will probably be your responsibility to fix.

    3. Turn the meter tap 'on' allowing water to flow, the stopcock 'on' and allowing water to flow. Turn off all taps and check the meter, if its turning then you've probably got a leak inside your home.

    Hope this makes any sense?!
    • Talldave
    • By Talldave 19th May 19, 10:05 AM
    • 262 Posts
    • 128 Thanks
    Talldave
    Two people working together can find the correct meter very easily. Get your "assistant " to switch a tap on and off at 20-30s intervals. Look for the meter that spins and stops spinning in sync with their tap toggling. Simples!
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