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Your charges explained
This year, we have worked hard to keep our charges among the lowest in the country, making sure that we can supply you with great value for money.
During 2013/14, our household customers will benefit from an average water supply charge that is around 23% lower than average for England and Wales.
We also bill for sewerage services on behalf of Severn Trent Water.
- What are the charges on my bill made up of?
- The bills we send you will be either based on your water use, or, if you don't have a meter, on your water rates. We only provide your tap water. The sewerage and drainage services within our supply area are the responsibility of Severn Trent Water. Your bill also includes charges for sewerage and drainage as we collect these on behalf of Severn Trent Water. The combined charges for tap water services and sewerage and drainage, make our average bill the lowest of all water companies in England and Wales.
- How accurate are the meter readings for my home?
- If your home has a water meter fitted, it will tell us the amount of water that you have used and you will be charged for it. We will send you four bills each year and at least one of these will be based on an actual company reading, the others will estimate how much water you use each day. When you receive an estimated bill, you can give us your own meter reading if you would rather be billed on what you have actually used. You can do this on our meter reading form or by calling
0845 60 70 456.
- I don't have a meter, so what are the charges based on?
- On the rateable value (RV) that was set before 1989 by the valuation office of your local council. The council set a separate RV for each property based on how much rent might be charged if it was rented out. The valuation office will no longer handle appeals about RV. Your council tax band or business rates are not used in the calculation and any change to these will not affect the RV that is used to calculate your water bills. If you would like to be billed on how much water you actually use, you can apply for a free meter.
- How can I pay lower sewerage charges?
- For most customers, the rain that falls onto the roof, yard and other parts of their property drains into the public sewers. The cost of removing this rainwater is included in the sewerage charges on your bill. But there are some properties where water does not drain to the public sewer, for example if it drains into a septic tank or soak-away, and so you may be able to get a reduction in your bill.
- If you are able to show that no water from your property drains to the public sewer (directly or indirectly), you can pay a lower sewerage charge. If surface water (such as rainwater) from any part of your property drains to the public sewer, then you must pay full charges.
- If you believe that you are due a reduction in your charges and would like to make a claim for a reduction, please view the surface water drainage booklet/application form on the right of this page. This is provided by Severn Trent Water, as the sewerage and drainage services within our supply area are the responsibility of Severn Trent.
- Why has the bill for my home gone up this year?
- Our average water charge will rise from £141 last year to £144 this year.
Unlike most businesses, water charges are subject to formal review (by our regulator, Ofwat). For 2013-14, Ofwat has set the increase at the rate of inflation, a total increase of 3%. This makes the cost of one litre of water around 0.1p.
- The money is used to provide you with the high level of service you expect, provide a continual supply of water, reduce leaks, as well as to maintain our other assets, such as reservoirs and pumping stations. This year we are also investing around £30 million to enhance our services, including improvements at our major treatment works and replacing mains around the region..
If you have any questions about these charges, please call the customer services team on 0845 60 70 456.
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