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All properties are charged for water by one of two methods:1. Since 1989 all new properties must have a meter installed which measures the amount of water entering the property. In addition, customers may have asked us to fit a meter. This allows us to calculate charges for water supply based on how much water is being used. 2. If there is no meter, properties, particularly domestic properties built before 1989, are charged for their water services based on the Rateable Value of that property.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 nearly 20 years and no new properties built since then 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 to your property or your circumstances.Since your charges are not affected by how many people are in your property or how much water you use, 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. We believe charging on a meter is fairer and easier to understand. If you decide to have a meter fitted, you can apply online >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.About rateable valueUntil 31 March 1990 the rateable value of your property was used by local authorities to calculate the general rates payable for each property. The rateable value was set by the Valuation Officer, who is an Executive Officer of the Inland Revenue. Rateable value was first replaced by the Community Charge and this was subsequently replaced in 1992 by the Council Tax. Rateable value has no effect on your council tax and changes in your council tax banding will not affect your rateable value.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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