Quarterly Water Bills

  Wilham 19:08 01 Feb 2009

I had a letter last week from Anglia Water to tell me..."We are changing to quarterly billing so you will be sent four bills each year, each being smaller than the old six monthly bills and we hope this will help our customers and make water bills more affordable when they arrive. The total charge for the year will remain unchanged."

It means I shall lose 3 months credit twice a year on how I've previously paid. Present low rates of interest may make this of little consequence.

More important to me is that it must double the number of meter readers as well as increase administration,...adding costs that later the customer has to pay.

Is this change to quarterly bills a one-off by Anglian, or is it happening elsewhere?

  karmgord 19:49 01 Feb 2009

Private water companies are a rip off, water should be a national utility,not something to make shareholders profit ,any example of this is when we had a drought we were all told we would all have to have a water meter to save water,now we are in recession and water consumption has plummetted (presumably what they wanted to achieve with water meters)the water companies are laying off workers despite making enormous profits for their share holders,another example of rip off Britain

  oresome 19:59 01 Feb 2009

I pay the water company 12 times a year. That doesn't mean they read the meter 12 times. In fact I doubt they read it more than once.

The government of the day realised that the water quality and sewage treatment needed improving to meet european standards and that this would require major capital investment. What easier way than selling off the asset and then making someone else find the cash to make the improvements.

  karmgord 20:08 01 Feb 2009

As the 4th richest industrial nation surly it is better to retain control of our ultilies,water,energy,railways etc.
Look at the privatisation of the railways,how can it be sucessfull when one company group of companies own and maintain the track and signaling and several others run the trains?
I subscribe to the veiw we sold the family silver.

  laurie53 20:15 01 Feb 2009

Do you know where your water actually comes from (the company, not the aquifer!)?

Up here Scottish Water is a still a public utility, but a recent case of pollution in the Forth resulted in Severn Trent (I think) being fined!

  Stuartli 20:57 01 Feb 2009

Actually it was fifth and it's most certainly not the case now.

oresome is quite correct in that the sheer cost of replacing so much out of date infrastructure (much of our area, for instance, involved lead pipes) throughout the UK, made perfect sense to privatise the industry.

  Wilham 20:59 01 Feb 2009

Your post reminds me of an Eon electricity offer made about Easter time last year. I would be given 9% discount for combined gas + electric bills if I paid with direct debit, or, in my case, 6% for a single utility. I've no gas.

I rang for details and found I'd be debited 12 times a year on an estimated usage, and the monthly set sum would be adjusted/corrected at the end of each yearly period for the next 12 months.

It appeared to me the 6% interest at that time I was getting on ISA's took the shine off the offer because dd brought in a proportion of payment in advance. I declined, but the offer would look better in the current levels of interest.

At a pinch I suppose this monthly dd scheme could get away with just one meter reading a year.

  karmgord 21:31 01 Feb 2009

RE utility bills ,they all say we need to cut back on ,water,gas & electricity consumption but the truth is these companies need that level of sales to maintain share holder profits and all that would happen if we all halved consumpsion is they would have to INCREASE their prices to maintain profits so our reward for cutting green house gases is in creased prices

  oresome 22:07 01 Feb 2009

Let's say you have a utility usage of £600 per year.

You can save 6% paying by direct debit equating to £36 per year saving.

Rather than do it this way, you save the £50 per month in an ISA and pay the bill from this account every 6 months.

The average amount held in your ISA account over the year is approx £150, rising from £0 to £300 and back to £0 twice. This would have earnt £9.00 interest per year at best.

  Wilham 22:36 01 Feb 2009

Yes, there is some truth in what you say. The difficulty is to express your grumbles into a form that arouses the interest of Ofwat.. click here

I've had two goes and in the first I was successful. I submitted mathematical arguments and secured a price change in the rebate for full soakaway disposal of suface water.

The second was a legal presentation and I got nowhere. Ofwat revealed that legal judgements were not within its powers.

I wish more people would contact Ofwat (link above) If there's little feedback, Ofwat can sit back and deduce everybody's happy.

It's up to you.

  robgf 01:01 02 Feb 2009

Call me sceptical, but I think the change to quarterly bills, is to try and hide the fact that Anglian water seems to raise the prices every other bill.
The thinking must be, "give them four small bills, it looks like they are paying less".

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