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Hi,

 

I've just had a letter from Southern Water saying that they will change the billing from rateable value to average consumption of other properties in the area.

 

Looking at the estimate the bill will be £100 more than the current one.

 

I asked how it worked and they said that they will now estimate the bill by averaging the use of other 3 bedroom houses in the area and charge me that.

 

Can they do this? I live alone in a 3 bed house, and the other houses have full families etc... in them? Not to mention the majority of them have gardens and my garden was paved :-/

 

I told them to install a meter, but they said they were unable to due to the pipes being inaccessible. Surely this isn't my problem?

 

Any advice would be handy...

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Sounds like you have been placed on an assessed charge however you may qualify for a single persons discount if as you say you live alone provided you are receiving the single persons reduction in your council tax. You will have to prove this by sending a copy of the bill probably and I don't know what % reduction you will get but might take you back to about what you were paying before.

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I dunno if this helps but.... Despite the size of the house you are in, the water council say:

 

1) If your water authority come to you under the compulsory scheme and can't install a meter, you will unfortunately be placed on the assessed rate i.e. the average of the local metered properties

2) If you went voluntarily to them and asked to have a meter placed, they couldn't. You have right to opt-out of this and stay at your usual RV (rateable value) charge.

 

I'm not sure bout the timeframes here thought so if someone could help in that are that would be helpful.

 

I first applied for a meter about 10 years ago, maybe 11. Just after I moved in and then they said that it's not possible.

 

I haven't approached them about this YET, but can I go back 10 years to confirm this? I dont know if this comes under statute barring etc... I saw no need to go back and ask again over the following 10 years to see if my water pipe 'had mysteriously moved' for the new meter :D

 

Cheers,

 

A

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yeah I found out my rights. Because I actively asked for a meter and they were unable to install one, I've got the right to opt out of this new scheme. This ONLY applies if you've actively asked and they weren't able to install one. If they came to you under the compulsory metering scheme BEFORE you asked yourself, you have to pay the higher water rates.

 

THey tried to argue this with me, but they soon backed down after I played a recording of a 5 minute chat I had with the water council :D

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