Ofwat control the amount we charge and it’s our responsibility to inform them exactly what we’re charging and how we plan to use the money. We review these charges every year to make sure our customers always get the best value service.
You can download a simple guide to our household charges below, or the full scheme if you want more detail. There are also some answers to frequently asked questions further down this page.
The District Valuer on behalf of the Inland Revenue originally assessed rateable values. They were based on the size of the property, the number of rooms inside the property, the amenities available and the overall location. No new rateable values have been set since March 1990 following the introduction of the Poll Tax.
Water companies are still legally entitled to use rateable value as the basis for charges, but we are not able to use council tax banding. New properties built since 1990 do not have a rateable value and are metered. If you have a property with rateable values you can choose to have a water meter installed. Call us on 0345 709 0646 to find out more.
Metered charges are made up of three elements – water supply, used water and surface water drainage.
Water supply and used water charges are based on the volume of water used. The amount used is calculated based on the difference between two meter readings.
These charges are levied for the removal and treatment of surface water or rainwater from your property.
Charges are based either on the rateable value of the property or based on property type, for example terraced, semi-detached or detached. If your charges are currently based on rateable value you can opt to be billed based on property type. If no surface water drains from your property or its surrounding area either directly or indirectly to the public sewer, you can claim exemption from this charge.
Please be aware the following charges differ depending on the rateable value of your property and where you live:
- A typical unmeasured household bill (full service) is increasing by 4.5%
- Water supply charges are reducing by 0.7%
- Charges for waste water treatment are increasing by 9.6%
- A typical metered household bill (full service) is increasing by 2.9%
- Water supply charges are falling by 0.2%
- Charges for waste water are increasing by 5.8%
Our average household bill for water and sewerage in 2019-20 will be around £354 per year or just 97 pence per day. That’s the lowest combined bill in England, and compares with an average bill of £405 for England and Wales last year. Our average water bill in 2019/20 will be around £175 (48 pence per day). This pays for:
- Maintaining our network of reservoirs, treatment works, pumping stations and pipes
- Gathering and collecting water from rivers and reservoirs or pumping it from underground rocks
- Storing the water ready to be treated
- Treating, cleaning and distributing water to over 4m homes
Our average sewerage bill for 2019/20 will be around £179 (49 pence per day). This pays for:
- Building and maintaining sewer pipes
- Pumping sewage to treatment works
- Treating sewage so that it is safe to return to the environment
- Sending cleaned and treated wastewater back into rivers and the sea
- Converting solid material from sewage into gas for energy
Each year our bills increase for inflation, to reflect the increase in our costs. There are some other adjustments to reflect new investment and changes in cost which are agreed with our regulator, Ofwat, every five years.
This year, our bills also include small adjustments to reflect our performance in delivering service against the commitments we agreed with our customers and Ofwat at our last price review. These are called Outcome Delivery Incentives (ODIs).
In 2019/20 there will be a small reduction in our bills overall because of ODIs.
- For water, there is a small reduction because we missed some of our targets. We hope to improve our performance in future.
- For waste water, there is an increase because we delivered a great level of improvement last year. We have decided to defer some of the increases for ODIs because inflation is quite high and we don't think this is the right time to include further increases in customer bills.
Overall, the bill per day will be around ¾ pence lower this year as a result of performance incentives (last year they were ¾ pence higher as a result of incentives).
Discover more about all the different activities that make up your bill and how we’ve improved our service.
For more information on how we compare to other water companies, visit discoverwater.co.uk