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Water bill increased to £130pm

(29 Posts)
anothernetter Sat 18-Nov-17 18:57:54

We used to pay about £30pm. We then moved house and the monthly payment went up to £80pm. I have just received a bill from our water company telling me that from January next year they need to charge us £130pm until further notice. We are a family of four; 2 adults one toddler one baby. I put the washing machine on 3/4 times a week, we have a dish washer that goes on once a day, we have shallow baths or shower once a day. Surely something isn't right? The bill included a chart showing our daily average water use with three bars (each covering a period of six months between meter readings) and the daily use was around 600, 1400, 500. If our daily average use has gone down to approx 500 units then why are they increasing our bill from £80 to £130? There have been no large leaks that I know of; however one of our toilets had a continuous dribble for a couple of days and we stopped using one of our showers because the wall was getting damp - however surely this isn't enough to explain why the bills have gone up so much? I tried to call the water company but of course they are closed because it's the weekend. I'm panicking about this - this represents a huge increase to us I really don't know what to do and I'm worried that the water company will just fob me off when I call them on Monday

anothernetter Sat 18-Nov-17 18:59:14

*units means litres

BakerBear Sat 18-Nov-17 19:00:16

Are you on a water meter?

If so make sure you are using no water at all and then look at the water meter and see if the little dial is turning round. If it is turning then you have a leak somewhere

TefalTester123 Sat 18-Nov-17 19:01:25

I think that's massively too much. 4 person family with a pool which is topped up in the summer. Ours has rarely gone over £500 for the year!

TotemIcePole Sun 19-Nov-17 02:12:44

Are they basing an estimate on 4 people?

They tried to estimate my bill as 2 people when DD was a baby, & I refused and made them do it as 1 adult only.

TotemIcePole Sun 19-Nov-17 02:17:39

Also refuse to pay by direct debit.

You do not have to.

That way they have no access to your bank account, if they increase the amount, you can pay online weekly/monthly to your account if you want.

You could pay a set amount by standing order weekly/monthly or manually in a post office etc.

anothernetter Sun 19-Nov-17 09:02:57

Thanks for the replies. I've been really stressed about this since I got the letter yesterday. The suggestion about looking at the meter when no water is being used in the house is a good one and I will look at that today. To be honest I think when our bill was set to £80 a month even that was higher than what I was expecting. I have a friend who lives in a similar size house to mine with the same sort of usage as me - possibly more in fact (lives in the same area) and her bill is £40pm! It's the thought that there has been a mistake and that I am being unfairly penalised that's bothering me - and of course the massive bill that I've got to look forward to in the new year sad

anothernetter Sun 19-Nov-17 09:05:07

Am actually wondering if they have mixed up our reading with someone else's meter

TheBitterBoy Sun 19-Nov-17 09:14:18

It's definitely worth calling them, they will come out and investigate if you think there is a leak. Yes to making sure you are running no water then watched the meter to see if it is running. also have a look to see if you can find the serial number on the meter so you can quote it when you call them, they should be able to check they are billing you from the correct meter. It's also worth asking them to check you are not accidentally on a shared supply (one supply splitting into two properties, i.e. upstairs flat or a row of terraces). Mistakes sometimes happen like this!
It does sound like you are paying far too much for your listed usage, although if your toilet is running even a little bit it can add up to a lot of water.

NannyR Sun 19-Nov-17 09:14:29

They had my meter and the meter of the family in the flat below mixed up a few years ago when I moved in. So I was paying the bill of a family of four and they were paying the bill for a single person.

They advised me to take a reading then not use any water for an hour, then take another reading to determine whether there was a leak, then to turn the water off with the stopcock and do the two readings again - that way you can work out whether the leak is in your house or in the pipes leading to your meter (which bizarrely, you are still responsible for repairs, even though you can't do anything to damage or maintain them).

blondiebonce Sun 19-Nov-17 09:19:18

Read your meter and then don't use any water for at least an hour. Then take another reading and see if there's been any movement. If there has, turn off your internal stop tap and do the same check again.

Definitely get even the smallest leaks fix even if you don't think they amount to much.
If there is a leak many companies can look t applying leak allowances. Alternatively you could look to spread alternative balances over a longer period.
£130.00 a month isn't right.

blondiebonce Sun 19-Nov-17 09:20:56

Crossed post grin

blondiebonce Sun 19-Nov-17 09:22:58

NannyR it would depend if the leak by the metre was within your boundary.

YouCantArgueWithStupid Sun 19-Nov-17 09:24:17

We’re going through this right now. It turns out my neighbour (the end house of the terrace) and I have shared water supply and she’s has the stop cock from the road to the house. So she controls my water supply. I have a meter and she doesn’t. It looks like I’m paying both of our bloody water supply!!! Thames water are coming out at the end of the month to investigate

Moreisnnogedag Sun 19-Nov-17 09:34:19

That's an awful lot. Do as suggested above. If no leak I'd take multiple readings when doing a specific thing, e.g. Run the dishwasher and see how much it uses, then the washing machine etc. can you submit daily readings? Our gas/elec supplier tried to say we used a stinking amount per month but after submitting regular readings they calmed down and gave a more accurate usage.

ivykaty44 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:36:15

I would do what previous posters have said for accessing leakage. On top though I would photograph meter reading and set time and date.

Then each day at the same time take a meter reading - photograph reading. Do this for one week.
Then do this weekly - Sunday night after bath time or similar.

Work out how much your usage is and with the unit price and standard charge work out how much your using and how much the bill should be

If you can pay online then pay the monthly standing charge and the units you have used each month

ivykaty44 Sun 19-Nov-17 09:41:30


This is why I refuse to change to meter as my neighbor has control of stop click for both houses - it’s in their front garden.

I pay less than 40 quid a month for 3 bed fully occupied

anothernetter Mon 20-Nov-17 13:58:56

Oh wow thanks for all your replies. It's a nightmare to look into because I'm at home with a baby and a toddler and DH is working and I barely have time to go to the loo let alone look into this. How can I tell if I'm on a shared supply?

YouCantArgueWithStupid Mon 20-Nov-17 14:14:04

Just ask thanes water to come and investigate

notacooldad Mon 20-Nov-17 18:53:21

Wow, that's a huge amount!
We pay less than £500 a year to United Utilities for a family of 4. I am not on a meter though and would be reluctant to change while I have two lads living at home!

bumpsadaisy11 Mon 20-Nov-17 18:57:25

Our water bill is £114.84 per month (we are not on a water meter!) We live in the south west which has the highest water charges in the whole of the UK!!

Nyx1 Mon 20-Nov-17 19:00:59

I was about to say that's insanely high when I saw bumps' post - but is it possible that bumps, your bill is also wrong?

agree with all pps on how to monitor usage.

dungandbother Mon 20-Nov-17 19:11:06

I moved recently from London to South East Water.
They estimated my water use at three times the amount I actually use (checked meter regularly). I’ve paid enough in four months which should cover the whole heat so I cancelled the DD.

But not only that, the water rates are 3 times higher than in London. Water is three times as expensive.

As is the electric and gas. And the council tax is higher.
Gawd knows why I moved grin

dungandbother Mon 20-Nov-17 19:11:30

Heat? Year !

bumpsadaisy11 Mon 20-Nov-17 20:16:07

No this is completely normal for us. Our water bill for the year is £1148.40 for the year sad

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