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What is Rateable Value?

All properties are charged for water by one of two methods:

1. Since 1989 all new properties are required to have a meter installed which measures the amount of water entering the property. In addition, customers may have asked us to fit a meter and some properties have been metered under our Water Saving Programme. This allows us to calculate charges for water supply based on how much water is being used.

2. Alternatively, many properties, particularly domestic properties built before 1989, are charged for their water services on the Rateable Value of that property. This is a figure set by the local authorities in the past.

If your charges are based on the rateable value of your property, i.e. you don't have a meter, your bills will not take into account the number of people at the property or how much water you use. Unfortunately, you cannot change your rateable value and neither can we. The values have not been updated for over 20 years and no new properties built since 1989 have been given a rateable value. As this system does not use the current banding used for Council Tax, it will not be affected by changes in your council tax banding or changes to your property.

We believe charging on a meter is fairer and easier to understand, for example, a single occupier in a property with a high rateable value could be paying far too much for their water. Also, properties that seem to be the same can have a different rateable value and smaller properties, for example purpose-built flats with good amenities, may have a higher rateable value than larger properties. We would prefer that customers had a meter fitted and were charged for the water they use, as rateable value is not an ideal basis for charging, particularly as it has not been updated for many years.

As described above, the alternative to having your charges calculated using rateable value is to have a meter installed. We believe this is the fairest way to charge and this may also save you money, as you only pay for the water you use. You can apply for a meter by clicking on this link.

If you are on benefits and have 3 or more children under 19 living at home or have a medical condition that means you use more water than an average household, you will need to be metered to be eligible for our WaterSure scheme.

Further information regarding rateable values can be obtained from your local council. The use of rateable value as a charging method has been the subject of government review.

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