Household
A guide to our charges and
policies
Charges Scheme 2018 – 2019
Household Charges | 2018 - 2019
Table of Contents
Does this charges scheme apply to you ................................................................. 5
Are your premises household? ................................................................................ 5
Are your premises non-household? ......................................................................... 5
Useful Information .................................................................................................... 5
Where customer service comes first ........................................................................ 5
Priority customer scheme ........................................................................................ 6
Managing your personal information ....................................................................... 7
Bogus caller ............................................................................................................. 7
Customer metering programme ............................................................................... 8
How to contact us .................................................................................................... 8
1. Introduction .................................................................................................... 9
2. About water and wastewater services ....................................................... 10
Wastewater bills .................................................................................................... 10
Who to contact for wastewater service queries ..................................................... 11
Who to contact for wastewater billing and payment queries .................................. 11
3. Water supply charges .................................................................................. 11
3.1
Types of water supply charges ..................................................................... 11
3.2
Persons chargeable ...................................................................................... 11
3.3
Shared supplies ............................................................................................ 12
4. Metered water charges ................................................................................ 13
4.1
Standard metered charges ............................................................................ 13
When do metered charges apply? ................................................................. 13
How are they calculated? ............................................................................... 13
Billing ............................................................................................................. 14
Shared supplies: meter and sub-meter arrangements .................................. 14
Leakage from metered supply pipes .............................................................. 15
4.2
Saver tariff for large household properties .................................................... 15
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Tariff description............................................................................................. 15
Billing ............................................................................................................. 17
4.3
Meter accuracy.............................................................................................. 18
4.4
Tampering with meters .................................................................................. 18
5. Metered water charges ................................................................................ 19
When do unmetered charges apply? ............................................................. 19
How are they calculated? ............................................................................... 19
Billing ............................................................................................................. 20
6. Assessed water charges ............................................................................. 20
When do assessed charges apply? ............................................................... 20
How are they calculated? ............................................................................... 20
Billing ............................................................................................................. 21
7. Customer metering programme.................................................................. 22
7.1
Phase in option ............................................................................................. 22
How does it work? .......................................................................................... 22
What if we apply an assessed charge? .......................................................... 23
What about wastewater charges? .................................................................. 23
7.2
Support tariff.................................................................................................. 24
How does it work? .......................................................................................... 24
Qualifying criteria ........................................................................................... 24
What about wastewater charges? .................................................................. 25
What if we apply an assessed charge? .......................................................... 25
7.3
Meter access charge ..................................................................................... 26
8. Changing from an unmetered to a metered supply .................................. 26
8.1
Selective metering......................................................................................... 26
8.2
Option to be metered .................................................................................... 27
What if a meter installation is not feasible? .................................................... 28
Shared supplies ............................................................................................. 28
What if you want to revert back to your previous unmetered charges? .......... 28
8.3
Change in the occupation of a property ........................................................ 29
9. Payment of water supply charges .............................................................. 30
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9.1
Unmetered charges and assessed charges .................................................. 30
9.2
Metered charges ........................................................................................... 30
9.3
Methods of payment...................................................................................... 30
Alternative payment options ........................................................................... 31
Flexible payment plan .................................................................................... 31
9.4
Water direct ................................................................................................... 31
10. Special tariffs................................................................................................ 32
10.1 WaterSure ..................................................................................................... 32
10.2 Social tariff .................................................................................................... 34
Qualifying criteria ........................................................................................... 34
11. Change of occupation ................................................................................. 35
11.1 Vacant premises and responsibility for water charges .................................. 35
11.1.1 Measured premises .................................................................................. 35
11.1.2 Unmeasured premises ............................................................................. 36
11.2 Payment of closing account for previously occupied premises .................... 37
11.3 Empty property due to long-term hospitalisation (greater than four weeks) ... 37
11.4 Bereavement .................................................................................................. 37
11.5 Empty properties – disconnection by South East Water ............................... 38
Rented properties and flats ............................................................................ 38
12. Value added tax (VAT) ................................................................................. 39
13. Additional charges ....................................................................................... 39
Unmetered properties with swimming pool .................................................... 39
Returned cheques and rejected Direct Debit payment instructions ................ 39
Legal costs, tracing fees and collection fees .................................................. 39
14. Collection of outstanding charges ............................................................. 40
Household customers .................................................................................... 40
Debt relief ....................................................................................................... 40
15. Terminology used in this document........................................................... 40
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Our business
South East Water, supplies top quality drinking water to 2.2 million customers in the
south east of England. Through a network of 9,000 miles of pipe, we deliver 521
million litres of water every day. The skill and expertise of our employees ensures our
water meets the highest of standards.
Our vision is to be the water company people want to be supplied by and want to
work for. Everything we do is underpinned by technical excellence.
Good to know
521 million litres of water a day – that’s how much water we supply to around 2.2
million people
83 water treatment works – that’s how we ensure our water is of the highest quality
500,000 water quality tests each year – that’s how we ensure your water meets the
highest standards
9,000 miles of water mains – that’s how we transfer fresh drinking water direct to your
tap
912 employees – that’s how we make sure your water supply runs 24 hours a day,
365 days a year
How we invest in your water
Where each £1 of your bill is spent
Water extraction 7%
Water treatment 17%
Getting the water to you 45%
Cost of capital investment and maintenance 20%
Customer service 11%
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Does this charges scheme apply to your
premises?
Are your premises household?
If you want information on the charges that apply to your home you will need this
household charges scheme about household premises. If your premises are used
mainly as a home, your charges will normally be household. Your house or your flat
are household premises. If your premises are also used by a business or a charity
but the main use is as a home, they will be household premises and this charges
scheme will apply.
If your premises are not household you need to read our non-household charges
scheme instead.
Are your premises non-household?
If you are a business, charity or public sector organisation and want information
about the charges that apply to your premises you will need our non-household
charges scheme. Premises that are used mainly by a business, charity or the public
sector rather than as a home, will normally be classified as non-household. If
premises have a part that is used by a business, charity or a public sector
organisation and another part used as a home they will be non-household if the main
use is not as a home.
You can use the eligibility guide on the Open Water website to check whether your
premises are likely to be eligible.
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Useful Information
Where customer service comes first
There are many ways in which we help our customers:
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By helping customers who want advice on water efficiency, metering, low
water pressure, leaks and other supply queries
Our expert representatives are on the road every day to provide personal help
and to give advice to customers in their own homes about technical problems
linked to their water supply
The priority customer scheme offers advice and services for older or disabled
customers and their carers
By listening carefully to all suggestions and comments made by customers
and responding swiftly to all contacts
Aiming to answer all written complaints within 10 working days and billing
enquiries within five working days
While we strive to ensure that all bills for charges are correct, in the case of
an error we reserve the right to make retrospective adjustments. This will
always happen if the adjustment is in the customer’s favour.
We endeavour to match our most appropriate tariff to each customer’s needs
By publishing free booklets giving information and advice on metering, water
quality, bill payments, saving water, new connections and many other
subjects
We want to provide a five out of five service and our code of practice leaflets,
available on our website or by contacting our Customer Service Centre, give details
about the way we work:
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Your water company
Water metering: A guide for household customers
Guaranteed standards of service
Leaks from customers’ supply pipes
Priority customer scheme: Our services for customers with additional needs
Household water charges, payment options and debt recovery
If things go wrong
Exercise of pipelaying powers on private land
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Help for our priority customers
We want all customers to be able to easily access our services. Our aim is to offer a
service tailored to the needs of each individual customer. That is why we offer a wide
range of free services for customers who may have additional needs. This includes
not only those with mobility restrictions, but also our customers who are deaf, blind or
partially sighted, disabled, those suffering from a long term sickness or illness, and
our elderly customers.
You can sign up to be on our priority services register at:
www.southeastwater.co.uk/get-help/help-for-priority-customers
Our priority customers can choose to:
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Receive prior warning of planned work which may mean interrupting their
home’s water supply
Receive priority treatment should their water supply be interrupted. We would
aim to arrange an alternative source as quickly as possible, which could
include hand-delivery of bottled drinking water
Receive important information in a more convenient format, such as large
print or the spoken word, where our normal presentation style is not suitable
Register their own spoken or written password for our staff to use so that
customers can identify them if we need to call at their home
Nominate somebody else to receive their water bill on their behalf, or
someone we should contact if it remains unpaid (the person being nominated
by the customer must agree to this)
Receive easy-to-read, large print bills for the partially sighted. We can also
arrange to call our Service Plus customers and read their bill to them
If a customer’s first language is not English we may be able to help them with
our interpretation service when they call
Receive information about specialist organisations which are able to provide
advice on possible adaptations to water fittings and appliances around the
home
Managing Your Personal Information
South East Water takes care to protect and respect your privacy.
Our Privacy Policy at www.southeastwater.co.uk/get-help/the-legal-stuff/privacypolicy sets out how we use your personal information.
For questions relating to your personal data please contact our data protection officer
at Dataprotection@southeastwater.co.uk
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Bogus caller
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We follow the National Doorstep Cold Calling Protocol and where possible,
our representatives will make an appointment if they need to enter a
customer’s home. There are times when an appointment cannot be made
such as when random checks are being carried out on water from kitchen
taps in line with the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000
As these tests are random we ensure that all staff who carry out these tests
wear a company uniform and show an identity card which includes their
photograph and our logo
It is important that customers check the identity of a caller, particularly if they
are not expecting visitors. Anyone uncertain about a person claiming to be
from South East Water can call our bogus caller telephone line 0333 000
2244 to check if the caller is genuine
Customer metering programme
•
We are installing water meters for the majority of our customers between now
and 2020, because the South East of England is an area of serious water
stress and households on a meter use, on average, 10 per cent less water
than those not metered and this will help secure resources for the future
Section 7 of this document explains this programme further
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How to contact us
Customer Service Centre
Our Customer Service Centre is open between 8am and 7pm from Monday to
Friday, and between 8am and 1pm on Saturdays.
Billing and account helpline
0333 000 0001
Water supply helpline
0333 000 0002
24hr leak line
0333 000 3330
24hr automated payment line
0333 00 00 247
Calling from abroad
044 333 000 1122
Water Supply Emergencies
When the Customer Service Centre is closed, emergencies can be reported using
the following number.
Out of hours emergencies
0333 000 0365
Call us if you have no cold water from your kitchen tap or have spotted a burst main
or serious leak.
Calls to 03 numbers are charged at the standard geographic rate and must be
included in any inclusive call minutes offered by your telephone company.
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Write – if you would like to write to us for any reason please use the
following address or web email:
Customer Service Centre
South East Water
Rocfort Road
Snodland
Kent
ME6 5AH
Web Email: www.southeastwater.co.uk/get-help/get-in-touch
The Consumer Council for Water
If you have followed our complaints process but are still unhappy, the Consumer
Council for Water offers free independent advice. You can visit its website
ccwater.org.uk, call on 0300 034 2222, email enquiries@ccwater.org.uk or write
to the Consumer Council for Water, c/o 1st Floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria
Square, Birmingham, B2 4AJ.
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1. Introduction
This is the Charges Scheme of South East Water Ltd for the year commencing on 1
April 2018 and ending on 31 March 2019 for household premises. It is made in line
with section 143 and 143A of the Water Industry Act 1991 (the “Act”), and following
charges schemes rules issued by Ofwat in line with section 143B of the Act and with
the requirements of our licence. It supersedes any prior charges scheme made by us
for household premises but previous years’ charges schemes continue to apply in
respect of the charging year they relate to. It sets out our end-user charges for
services provided in the period commencing on 1 April 2018 and ending on 31 March
2019. It also explains how our charges are applied and calculated and how and when
they must be paid. Our charges relating to water supplies are set out in Appendix 1
(Schedule of Charges) and our other standard charges are set out in Appendix 2
(Miscellaneous charges).
In this charges scheme the words “we”, “us” and “our” refer to South East Water Ltd.
In fixing our charges we ensure that they comply with the price controls determined
by Ofwat, and that no undue preference is shown to, and that there is no undue
discrimination against, any class of customers or potential customers.
This charges scheme must be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with relevant
legislation and the terms of our licence and to the extent that any provisions of this
charges scheme are inconsistent with any legislation or the provisions of our licence
the provisions of such legislation and/or of our licence prevail.
A glossary is included at the end of this charges scheme to explain the terminology
used.
2. About water and wastewater services
Wastewater bills
We only provide water supply services described on your bill as ‘water in’.
Wastewater services, or ‘water out’, in our supply area are provided either by
Thames Water or Southern Water. Some properties also receive wastewater services
from Severn Trent Select.
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Where the water supply is metered, the wastewater charges will be based on the
meter readings we have taken or an estimated volume.
We bill customers for wastewater services on behalf of Thames Water, Southern
Water and Severn Trent Select. We already bill most customers of Southern Water
and we are planning to start billing all the remaining customers of Southern Water
between April and May 2018. When we have started to bill on behalf of Southern
Water it will be shown on your bill. You can find more information on One Bill on our
website.
Who to contact for wastewater service queries
You should contact your wastewater provider directly for all queries or issue about
wastewater services. Your wastewater provider may be Thames Water, Southern
Water or Severn Trent Select.
Who to contact for wastewater billing and payment queries
If your bill shows that we bill wastewater services on behalf of your wastewater
provider you should contact us only for billing and payment enquiries.
We are planning to start billing all the remaining customers of Southern Water
between April and May 2018. If Southern Water is your wastewater services provider,
and your bill shows that we do not yet bill your wastewater services on their behalf,
you should contact Southern Water for all aspects of your wastewater services
including billing and payment enquiries.
3. Water supply charges
3.1 Types of water supply charges
We use three main methods to charge for your water supply:
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Metered charges: based on the volume of water recorded by our meter
Unmetered charges: based on the rateable value of the premises
Assessed charges: based on the number of bedrooms or other characteristics
of the premises
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We may also apply a meter access charge as explained further in this charges
scheme. Details on each of these charges are provided in the sections 4, 5, and 6 of
this charges scheme.
3.2 Persons chargeable
Water charges are payable by the occupier(s) of the premises unless there is an
agreement between us and another person who has agreed to pay the water charges
instead of the person(s) normally responsible for paying the water charges.
If several persons occupy the same premises then each of them is jointly and
severally responsible for the payment of the water charges and we may collect all the
charges from any one of them.
In addition to any person in actual occupation of the premises, ‘occupier’ means:
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The owner of newly constructed premises who maintains these premises
ready for occupation prior to their initial sale
The owner of premises who maintains the same furnished and ready for
occupation
Any person who has sufficient control over premises to owe a duty of care to
those who come lawfully onto these premises
Any person who owns or operates premises for multiple occupation with
shared facilities including houses in multiple occupation, bedsits and student
accommodation
Any person who owns or operates premises for use as a holiday let, hostel or
bed and breakfast
Any person who owns or operates premises used for short term occupation
including premises occupied under licence or lettings where the occupation or
term of the tenancy is for less than six months
Any person who is the owner of premises while renovation or building works
are being undertaken at the premises
If you are a landlord or a managing agent of properties in England and Wales, you
can use Landlord TAP an easy to use website that allows you to provide us with
details of your tenants who are responsible for the payment of water charges landlordtap.com
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3.3 Shared supplies
Where several premises or parts of premises are supplied with water through a
shared service pipe but are in different occupation, each owner and/or occupier is
liable to pay the water charges as explained in this section.
When there is no agreement between us and a person other than the occupier to pay
the charges in respect of those premises (or such agreement has ended for any
reason) the following will apply:
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In cases where the supply to those premises is not metered, the applicable
charge will be either an unmetered charge (when a valid rateable value is
available in respect of the premises) or an assessed charge
In cases where the supply to those premises is metered with a single meter
(and each of the premises are not also individually metered), metered
charges will apply and the occupiers of each of the premises supplied through
that single meter will be jointly and severally liable for the whole of the
metered charges calculated by reference to the volume of water registered by
the meter. We may at our discretion apportion the metered charges between
the occupiers of each of the premises supplied through the single meter on
such basis as we think fit. We may also at our discretion apply an assessed
charge to any or all of these premises
Where several premises are supplied by a shared service pipe, we may require
separation of the service pipe as permitted under the Act.
4 Metered water charges
4.1 Standard metered charges
When do metered charges apply?
Metered charges apply in all cases where we are entitled to charge by reference to
the volume of water supplied to the premises, a meter can physically be installed and
we elect to apply metered charges. We are entitled to charge by reference to volume
where premises are already charged by reference to volume, or following an
application for a meter made by a customer or when a meter is installed under our
customer metering programme or selective metering. Where we are entitled to
charge by reference to volume but it is not practical to install a meter or where
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unreasonable expenses would be required to install a meter an assessed charge will
apply instead.
How are they calculated?
Metered charges include a fixed standing charge, which is an annual sum based on
the size of the meter, and a variable volumetric charge which is based on a rate for
each cubic metre of water recorded by the meter or estimated by us. There is a
different volumetric rate for each of our two geographic areas. There is also a low
user volumetric rate which only applies to customers who already benefited from this
rate until 31 March 2018.
The volumetric charge is based on the volume of water registered by the meter
including water lost by leakage or waste. Please see below for the allowance that
may be available to you in case of leakage. There is no charge for water used in
relation to fire-fighting including testing in the conditions specified in section 147 of
the Act.
We will only use our own meters or meters installed at our request in accordance with
specifications we have approved to apply metered charges. We may, at our
discretion, agree to take ownership of and responsibility for other meters to apply
metered charges by reference to these meters.
The amount of the volumetric charges per cubic metre and of the standing charge for
each type of meter can be found in Appendix 1 – Schedule of Charges at the end of
this charges scheme.
Billing
Our meters are normally read and bills produced every six months. Metered charges
are payable on receipt of the bill.
The standing charge is payable in twelve equal instalments when the meter is read
monthly and in two equal instalments when the meter is read every six months.
Where a bill has been issued using an estimated volume of water and a meter read is
subsequently obtained, we may issue another bill if the actual volume of water
supplied is different from the estimate.
A bill will also be issued when you leave or stop being responsible for the premises to
cover charges up to the time when you stop being responsible for the payment of the
water charges. Please refer to section 11 of this document for further details on
change of occupation.
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Our charges are updated on 1 April every year. Where a bill relates to a supply of
water made in a period which spans this date, the volume of water is allocated prorata before and after this date using an average daily volume over the billing period.
This allocation of the volume of water is shown on the bill as two readings.
Shared supplies: meter and sub-meter arrangements
Where your premises are connected to our water main by a shared service pipe
which also supplies water to other premises, and individual meters measure the
volume of water supplied to each individual premises, a check meter may be installed
at the beginning of the shared service pipe to measure the water leaving our water
main.
If the water recorded by the check meter exceeds for any reason the total water
recorded on all the individual meters, the occupier of each of the individual premises
will pay an equal proportion of the volumetric charge attributable to this excess.
When a leak is found on a shared service pipe you may be entitled to an allowance.
Leakage from metered supply pipes
Household customers may receive one allowance per property for water lost through
leakage from the section of service pipe they are responsible for during their
occupancy of the premises. A separate allowance may be made following the
installation of a meter by us either as part of our customer metering programme or at
the request of a customer.
This allowance is granted in accordance with our leakage policy explained in detail in
our code of practice leaflet ‘Leakage from customers’ supply pipes’ which can be
obtained on our website or by contacting our Customer Service Centre.
4.2 Saver tariff for large household premises
Tariff description
Our saver tariff is available if the water consumption at the premises is 10,000 cubic
metres or more per year and the premises are single boundary sets of premises. This
tariff is available only for some specific large household premises such as large
permanent residential or retirement parks on a single site which meet the minimum
consumption criteria. However, the consumption of separate buildings which are
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operated by the same person or entity cannot be aggregated if the buildings are not
part of a single boundary set of premises. This tariff is only available in respect of
single boundary sets of premises which is defined in more detail below.
There are three tariff bands for each of our two geographic areas:
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Band A: from 10,000 to 49,999 cubic metres;
Band B: from 50, 000 to 249,999 cubic metres;
Band C: 250,000 cubic metres and more.
Each year before 31 March, we review the consumption at the premises in the
previous period of 12 months from February to February as recorded by the meter(s)
to determine whether or not the premises satisfy the minimum consumption criteria
for the saver tariff and to determine which of the three consumption bands will apply
from 1 April until the next 31 March. We will notify you before 1 April, if your premises
qualify or cease to qualify for the saver tariff.
If your premises qualify, we will automatically apply the saver tariff and the fix charge
and the volumetric rate corresponding to the appropriate band based on the prior
year consumption (determined as explained above) from 1 April but you will still have
until the following 30 April at the latest to ask us to transfer to the standard metered
tariff or to give us information on the expected usage at the premises during the next
year and ask us to change the band based on this information and, if you do, we will
change tariffs or adjust the saver tariff retrospectively with effect from 1 April.
If your premises cease to qualify, we will automatically apply the standard metered
tariff from 1 April but you will still have until the following 30 April at the latest to give
us information on the expected usage at the premises during the year and ask us to
apply the saver tariff for the appropriate band based on this information and, if you
do, we will apply the saver tariff retrospectively with effect from 1 April.
You will not be able to apply for or confirm the application or removal of the saver
tariff or ask us to revise the consumption band after 30 April until the following year.
Our saver tariff comprises three elements:
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A fixed charge which is applied per premises (irrespective of the number of
meters) for the relevant band and geographic area.
A fixed standing charge for each meter which is an annual sum based on the
size of the meter.
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•
A variable volumetric charge which is based on the rate for the relevant band
and geographic area for each cubic meter of water recorded by the meter(s)
in the month (or estimated by us).
The volumetric charge is based on the volume of water registered by the meter
including water lost by leakage or waste. There is no charge for water used in
relation to fire-fighting including testing in the conditions specified in section 147 of
the Act.
The saver tariff only applies in respect of household premises that we determine,
based on the information provided to us and our own investigations, to be single
boundary sets of premises (e.g. comprised of several buildings within the same site)
under the ownership, management or responsibility of the same person or entity and
where a single person or entity takes responsibility for the payment of the water
charges in respect of the entire single boundary set of premises. Single boundary
sets of premises may include premises separated only by transport infrastructure and
contiguous to that transport infrastructure and which still meet the required criteria set
out above. Single boundary sets of premises will typically have more than one
metered connection (i.e. more than one supply point) the consumption of which is
aggregated to determine the eligibility for and the calculation of the charges under
the saver tariff.
The fixed charges, the volumetric charges rates and the standing charge for each
type of meters can be found in Appendix 1 – Schedule of Charges.
Billing
Under the saver tariff the meter(s) measuring supplies to premises must be read
monthly and bills will be issued monthly (except that an estimate may be used where
it has not been possible to take a meter read in a month). Metered charges are
payable on receipt of the bill.
The fixed charge and the meter standing charge are both billed in 12 equal monthly
instalments.
Where a bill has been issued using an estimated volume of water and a meter read is
subsequently obtained, we may issue another bill if the actual volume of water
supplied is different from the estimate.
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A bill will also be issued when you leave or stop being responsible for the premises to
cover charges up to the time when you stop being responsible for the payment of the
water charges. Please refer to section 11 for further details on change of occupation.
Our charges are updated on 1 April every year. Where a bill relates to a supply of
water made in a period which spans this date, the volume of water is allocated prorata before and after this date using an average daily volume over the billing period.
This allocation of the volume of water is shown on the bill as two readings.
4.3 Meter accuracy
If you believe that a meter may not be registering correctly we will investigate the
issue and we will undertake one free, on-site confidence test of any meter we use for
the calculation of water charges. Our meter will be tested to determine whether it falls
within limits of accuracy prescribed by the Water Meter Regulations 1988.
We will also test any of our meters if you request a test in writing to determine
whether it falls within prescribed limits of accuracy set by regulations. We will provide
you with a copy of the test results. Where the meter is tested without removal, the
test is normally carried out by us. If it is necessary to remove the meter for testing, or
if you ask us to remove the meter for testing, the test will be carried out by an
independent organisation.
Where a test (other than the first on-site confidence test mentioned above) is carried
out at your request and the meter falls within the prescribed limits of accuracy, we
may recover the expenses we reasonably incurred in carrying out the test. If the
meter relates to a supply of water to a house or a flat, the maximum charge we will
recover is £70 if the meter has been removed for testing and £20 otherwise.
If a meter does not fall within the prescribed limits of accuracy, an adjustment to the
volumetric charges will be made. The meter will be deemed to have stopped
registering correctly since the date of the meter reading taken immediately before the
latest meter reading (unless it is proved to have begun to register incorrectly at a
later date).
If it is determined that the meter has registered less than the volume of water actually
supplied to a house, the balance you will pay will be based on the amount that would
have normally been supplied to the house in the six months preceding the day the
meter was last read (less any sums already paid in respect of that period).
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4.4 Tampering with meters
All meters installed by us or our contractors remain our property and responsibility.
Tampering with a water meter or its associated fittings is a criminal offence. We will
prosecute in cases of tampering and will recover the actual cost of making the
necessary repairs to the meter and fittings.
5 Unmetered water charges
When do unmetered charges apply?
Unmetered charges apply when we are not currently applying metered charges or
assessed charges (including in cases where our customer metering programme has
not yet reached the area in which your premises are located and you have not opted
to have a meter installed and pay metered charges) and a valid rateable value is
available in respect of the premises. Where a valid rateable value is not available in
respect of the premises (and we are not currently applying metered charges) an
assessed charge is applied instead.
Unmetered charges apply for each day you are in occupation of the premises or
otherwise responsible for the charges. They are payable where a supply of water is
made available to premises, even if water is not actually used on these premises.
Exceptions apply in respect of empty premises (please refer to section 11.1.2).
How are they calculated?
Unmetered charges include:
•
•
An annual standing charge for the geographic area in which the premises are
located, and
An annual rateable value charge which is based on a rate per pound of
rateable value for the geographic area in which the premises are located.
The rateable value is the value determined or proposed for rating purposes in rating
valuation lists under the General Rate Act 1967 as at 31 March 1990.
Where applicable a rateable value assessed by us may be applied when separate
premises with a rateable value are combined into single premises; alternatively an
assessed charge may be applied instead (except when the premises are
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subsequently metered). The assessed charge will be based on the number of
bedrooms in the property. Detailed on when assessed charges may be applied are
provided in the next section.
The amount of standing charges for unmetered premises and of the rateable value
charges can be found in Appendix 1 – Schedule of Charges.
Billing
Unmetered charges are billed annually in advance and cover the period from 1 April
to the following 31 March. If you move into the premises in the course of this period,
a bill will be issued covering the period from the start of your occupation to the
following 31 March. A bill will also be issued when you leave or stop being
responsible for the premises to cover charges up to the time when you stop being
responsible for the payment of the water charges. Please refer to section 11 of this
document for further details on change of occupation.
You can find more information on when unmetered charges are due and how you
can pay in section 9.
6 Assessed water charges
When do assessed charges apply?
Assessed charges apply:
•
•
•
When, in respect of unmetered premises, following an application for a meter
made by a customer or under our customer metering programme or selective
metering we have determined that it was not reasonably practicable to install
a meter or that unreasonable expenses would be required to install a meter
or we could not access the premises
When we are not currently applying metered charges in respect of premises
for which a rateable value is not available, is no longer valid or is disputed (for
example, due to substantial alteration to the original premises), or
At our discretion instead of other charges in relation to premises supplied
through a share service pipe as explained in sections 3.3 (Shared supplies)
and 8.2 (Shared supplies).
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How are they calculated?
The assessed charge is an annual sum which is designed to reflect the estimated
usage of water on the relevant premises and is based on the number of bedrooms,
the characteristics of the premises or the type of occupation of the premises.
There are three types of assessed charges:
• The standard assessed charge which is an annual sum based on the number of bedrooms
in the relevant premises (the standard assessed charge is the default assessed charge
which will apply except when one of the following other assessed charges can be applied)
• The single occupier assessed charge which is an annual sum charged in respect of
relevant premises occupied by a single qualifying occupier
• The single room assessed charge which is an annual sum charged in respect of qualifying
relevant premises consisting of sheltered accommodation or bedsits which are billed
individually and have the use of communal hot water or laundry facilities
We will require reasonable evidence to support any application for a single occupier
assessed charge, which will include, but may not be limited to, confirmation of current
single-occupier Council Tax relief. Once entitlement has been confirmed, this charge
will only be applied in respect of water supplied from the date of application. If
evidence is provided that shows single occupancy before that date, charges will be
backdated to the start of the current charging year (i.e. 1st April). You must notify us
if you no longer qualify for the single occupier assessed charge, whereupon a
standard assessed charge will apply, based on the number of bedrooms in the
premises. A retrospective adjustment of charges may be made in respect of any
period during which your entitlement to the single-occupier assessed charge had
ceased but we were not notified of this change.
Where a customer benefiting from the single occupier assessed charge vacates a
property, subsequent supplies of water will be billed on the basis of the standard
assessed charge based on the number of bedrooms.
The amount of assessed charges can be found in Appendix 1 – Schedule of
Charges.
Billing
Assessed charges are billed annually in advance and cover the period from 1 April
to the following 31 March. If you move into the premises in the course of this period,
a bill will be issued covering the period from the start of your occupation to the
following 31 March. A bill will also be issued when you leave or stop being
responsible for the premises to cover charges up to the time when you stop being
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responsible for the payment of the water charges. Please refer to section 11 of this
document for further details on change of occupation.
You can find more information on when assessed charges are due and how you can
pay in section 9.
7 Customer metering programme
Our customer metering programme is a compulsory metering programme of all
premises in our supply area in order to apply metered charges to most of our
customers by 2020. We estimate that it will not be feasible to meter approximately 10
per cent of household premises, and in these circumstances, assessed charges will
be applied (Please see section 6 for more details on assessed charges).
We have developed two assistance options for customers who will be metered
through this programme and who are concerned that they may pay more for their
water on a meter.
These financial assistance options and charges are subject to annual review. They
are also only applicable while the customer remains in occupation of the property
which was metered through the customer metering programme.
7.1 Phase in option
How does it work?
The phase in option will spread any increase in charges over your first four sixmonthly metered bills. If your water usage means that your metered charges are
lower, you will pay the lower metered charges.
The phase in option is available to all customers metered through the customer
metering programme.
If you think you would benefit from the phase in option, you may call our metering
helpline on 0333 000 0003 or visit southeastwater.co.uk
The table below provides a worked example of how the phase in option works. In this
example, the customer’s first four metered bills are each £20 higher than the
previous unmetered charges.
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Metered
bill
Increase
Phase In
Option discount
Phase In Option
reduction
Customer
pays
1st bill
£120
£20
100%
£20
£100
2nd bill
£120
£20
75%
£15
£105
3rd bill
£120
£20
50%
£10
£110
4th bill
£120
£20
25%
£5
£115
5th bill
£120
£20
0%
£0
£120
If you apply for the phase in option after you have received you first bill(s) with
metered charges, we will apply the phase in option retrospectively from the date of
the latest bill issued before your application. Using the table above, if you made an
application after you had received your third bill, we would apply a 50 per cent
discount retrospectively to the amount of the increase that was included in the total
amount shown on your third bill (you would not be able to claim the discounts in
respect of the first and second bill retrospectively in such a case). If your application
for the phase in option is received after the fifth bill has been issued no discount is
applied.
What if we apply an assessed charge?
If we apply assessed charges because it is not feasible to install a meter, and the
assessed charges are higher than your previous unmetered charges, you will be
eligible for the phase in option. The phase in option will be applied to both water and
wastewater charges as explained above.
Assessed charges are raised annually in advance, and the phase in option will also
be applied annually in advance. On the first annual bill, an annual discount of 87.5
per cent is applied (corresponding to 100 per cent discount for first six months and 75
per cent discount for the following six months) to the difference between your
assessed charge amount and the amount it would have been on an unmetered basis.
On the second bill, an annual discount of 37.5 per cent is applied (corresponding to
50 per cent discount for first six months and 25 per cent discount for the following six
months). On the third annual bill, no discount is applied.
What about wastewater charges?
We provide water supply services only. However, as explained in section 2 we bill
customers for wastewater services on behalf of Thames Water, Southern Water and
Severn Trent Select.
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We already bill most customers of Southern Water and we are planning to start billing
all the remaining customers of Southern Water between April and May 2018. When
we have started to bill on behalf of Southern Water it will be shown on your bill. You
can find more information on One Bill on our website. Charges for wastewater
services provided by Thames Water, Southern Water (when we have started to bill
on their behalf) and Severn Trent Select will be added to your water bill, and the
phase in option will also be applied to the wastewater charges.
If your wastewater services are provided by Southern Water and we have not yet
started to bill on their behalf, you will receive a separate wastewater bill from them. If
you have opted for the phase in option with us, it will also be applied by Southern
Water on their bill for wastewater services. We will notify Southern Water that you
have opted for the phase in option.
7.2 Support tariff
How does it work?
The support tariff has been developed for customers on a low income who may pay
more for their water on a meter. The support tariff caps the metered charges of
eligible customers who will pay no more than the amount of unmetered charges for
the relevant premises.
We endeavour to identify the most appropriate tariff tailored to each individual
customer’s needs. If another of our tariffs is more appropriate we will assess the
customer’s situation and put them on the best tariff available.
Qualifying criteria
To qualify for the support tariff customers must meet the following criteria:
1.
Have been switched from an unmetered charge to a metered charge, or
assessed charge through the customer metering programme
2.
Have a combined increase in annual water charges greater than £60 as a
result of switching to a meter (or assessed charge)
3.
A household income of £16,105 or less**
4.
Have participated in a water efficiency assessment to determine whether
more efficient use of water at their property could reduce the size of future
metered bills
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** Please note that the household income of £16,105 or less has to include all types
of income, except the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Child tax credit and/or child benefit
Disability living allowance / Personal Independence Payment
Attendance allowance
Housing benefit and council tax reduction
Mortgage interest relief
We will check applications to verify your entitlement to assistance. All applications will
also be checked against all our other tariffs or services to see if we can assist further.
Where appropriate, and with the agreement of the customer, we may also refer
customers to external agencies for advice.
The support tariff entitlement will be reviewed annually, and will lapse unless a
renewal application form is completed. We will remind you when the renewal
becomes due. The support tariff will apply for billing periods starting on 1 April and
ending on 31 March. If you apply in the course of a billing period, your entitlement will
last until the next 31 March. If your entitlement to the support tariff ceases in the
course of a billing period, the support tariff will apply until the following 31 March.
For more information and to apply for the support tariff, please call the metering
helpline on 0333 000 0003 or go online to southeastwater.co.uk
What about wastewater charges?
We provide water supply service only. However, as explained in section 2 we bill
customers for wastewater services on behalf of Thames Water, Southern Water and
Severn Trent Select.
We already bill most customers of Southern Water and we are planning to start billing
all the remaining customers of Southern Water between April and May 2018. When
we have started to bill on behalf of Southern Water it will be shown on your bill. You
can find more information on One Bill on our website.
Charges for wastewater services provided by Thames Water, Southern Water (when
we have started to bill on their behalf) and Severn Trent Select will be added to your
water bill, and the support tariff will also be applied to the wastewater charges.
If your wastewater services are provided by Southern Water and we have not yet
started to bill on their behalf, you will receive a separate wastewater bill from them.If
you have applied and qualified for the support tariff with us, it will also be applied by
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Southern Water on their bill for wastewater services. We will notify Southern Water
that you qualify for the support tariff.
What if we apply an assessed charge?
If we apply assessed charges because it is not feasible to install a meter, the
assessed charges are higher than your previous unmetered charges, and you have
applied and are eligible for the support tariff, you will receive the benefit of the
support tariff across both water and wastewater charges.
Assessed charges are raised annually in advance, and the support tariff will also be
applied annually in advance to eligible customers’ bills.
7.3 Meter access charge
If we have attempted to meter premises as part of our customer metering programme
and we have been denied access either to carry out a survey or to install a meter, we
may apply a meter access charge for the water supplied to the premises from the
date access was refused. The meter access charge is equivalent to the current
charges for the premises plus a further payment of £171.31.
If access is subsequently provided and a meter is installed, meter charges will be
applied from the date of installation of the meter and the meter access charge will be
removed. If it is not feasible to install a meter, an assessed charge will be applied
from the date of the survey.
8 Changing from an unmetered to a metered
supply
8.1 Selective metering
We may install a meter and apply metered charges after giving notice to the occupier
of our intention to apply metered charges within a period specified in the notice
where:
•
Water is used for watering a garden other than by hand by means of any
apparatus
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•
•
•
•
•
Water is used for automatically replenishing a pond or a swimming pool with
a capacity of more than 10,000 litres
Water is used in a bath with a capacity of more than 230 litres
Water is used in a shower unit of a type specified under paragraph 4(c) of the
Table to Regulation 5 of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999
Water is used in a unit incorporating reverse osmosis
Where the premises are in an area of water scarcity, or in an area of serious
water stress and subject to a metering programme specified in our water
resources management plan (Please see section 7 of this document for
information on our customer metering programme)
Where any one of these criteria applies, a customer is not entitled to refuse the
installation of a meter and/or to pay metered charges and a customer who has opted
to have a meter installed is no longer able to revert to previous charges.
We may also install a meter at any time in relation to household premises after giving
notice to the occupier of our intention to apply metered charges when we become
entitled to apply metered charges in the future (in cases where we are not for the
time being entitled to apply metered charges).
All new properties built in our supply area are metered. You must advise us before
installing a temporary or permanent swimming pool.
8.2 Option to be metered
If you occupy household premises and you either pay unmetered charges or (in
certain cases) assessed charges for your water supply, you can ask us to install a
water meter free of charge and to pay metered charges instead. We will do so
provided that it is reasonably practicable to install a meter or that we would not have
to incur unreasonable expenses to install a meter. We may also install a meter and
apply metered charges if you have consented to it (and in this case you will be
deemed to have asked us to install a meter and to apply metered charges).
We will give effect to your request by installing a meter and applying metered
charges within a period of three months commencing on the date of receipt of your
application, provided that the installation is not delayed by you or another third party.
You will continue to pay your current charges for the water supplied to your premises
until the end of that period of three months or until the meter is installed if earlier. If
we do not install a meter within this period and the delay was not caused by you, we
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will apply metered charges from the end of that period even if the meter has not yet
been installed on that date so that you are not worse off.
You can apply for this option online by calling our Customer Service Centre who will
go through the water metering guide with you and complete the application on your
behalf. Alternatively, you can request a copy of the guide by post and complete the
application form yourself. The application form must be completed before a survey
can take place to determine whether it is feasible to install a meter and where it will
be located.
If we are planning to install a meter to your property as part of our customer metering
programme within the next 12 months, we will ask if we can delay the installation and
undertake it as part of the programme. If we do this, we will backdate metered
charges to the date of application.
What if a meter installation is not feasible?
If you have asked us to pay metered charges for your water supply but we determine
that it is not reasonably practicable to install a meter or that we would have to incur
unreasonable expenses to install a meter, we will apply assessed charges except
where you elect to continue paying unmetered charges (provided that a valid rateable
value is available in respect of the premises). You will not be able to elect to continue
paying unmetered charges if your premises are in an area where our customer
metering programme has commenced or is scheduled during the following year.
If there is a dispute as to whether it is reasonably practicable to install a meter or
whether we would have to incur unreasonable expenses to install a meter, the Water
Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) may be asked to determine the dispute.
Shared supplies
Where a meter has been fitted on a service pipe and it later becomes apparent that
the service pipe is used to supply several premises, an assessed charge will be
applied if we determine that it is not possible to continue applying metered charges,
for example where metering all the individual premises supplied is not feasible.
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What if you want to revert back to your previous unmetered
charges?
You are able to revert to your previous charges if you ask us in writing within a period
of 12 months commencing on the date on which metered charges have been first
applied if certain conditions set out in legislation are satisfied.
If the criteria set out in section 8.1 (Selective metering) above are not satisfied, you
can revert to your previous charges if you remain in occupation of the premises and
you had not previously asked us to apply metered charges for the supply of water to
these premises. This means that if you asked us once to apply metered charges and
asked us to revert to your previous charges and you ask us a second time to apply
metered charges you will not be able to revert to unmetered charges.
If the criteria set out in section 8.1 (Selective metering) above are not satisfied, you
can also revert to your previous charges if any person who was in occupation of the
premises when a previous customer asked us to apply metered charges is still in
occupation of the premises, and when neither that previous customer nor the current
customer had previously asked us to apply metered charges.
If you ask us to revert to your previous charges, we will do so before the end of the
period of 12 months mentioned above or, if not possible, as soon as reasonably
practicable after that period. In most cases metered charges are applied until 10 days
after the date of the request to revert.
When we revert to your previous charges, the water meter is not removed. The meter
will remain in place but will not be used to bill water charges for the current customer.
Any new customer moving in the premises will be charged on a metered basis.
The option to revert back to the previous charges will not be available if the premises
are in an area where our customer metering programme has been completed, has
already commenced or is scheduled during the following year. The customer
metering programme schedule can be viewed at southeastwater.co.uk or you can
contact our metering helpline on 0333 000 0003 to find out when we will be in your
area. Please see section 7 (customer metering programme) for more details.
8.3 Change in the occupation of a property
Where in relation to premises in which a person has their home (or the principal use
of the premises is as a home), metered charges have not been previously applied
and the criteria set out in section 8.1 (Selective metering) above are not met, we may
install a meter and/or apply metered charges when there has been a change in the
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occupation of the premises, and we have not yet demanded payment of any charges
from the new customer.
We may also install a meter in relation to vacant household premises. Where a meter
is installed in relation to vacant household premises, metered charges will be applied
in respect of any water supply provided when the premises are occupied again.
9 Payment of water supply charges
9.1 Unmetered charges and assessed charges
The standard billing period is from 1 April to 31 March, and the following payment
options are available:
•
•
•
•
•
A single payment for the entire year’s charges due on 1 April
Two payments due on 1 April and 1 October
Eight monthly payments – May to December inclusive
10 monthly payments – April to January inclusive
12 monthly payments – April to March inclusive
If you move into the premises during the standard billing period we will adjust the
payment arrangements above to cover the remaining period to the following 31
March.
9.2 Metered charges
We offer the following payment options for metered charges:
•
•
A single payment due on receipt of the bill
Monthly instalments calculated to cover your predicted charges and reviewed
each time we bill (normally every six months) to ensure that you are paying a
suitable amount.
9.3 Methods of payment
We offer a variety of payment methods.
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Payment by Direct Debit – There’s no easier, safer or more convenient way to pay
for your water bill than by Direct Debit. Go to southeastwater.co.uk/directdebit
Payment for measured or unmeasured charges can be made on the 1st, 7th, 15th or
23rd day of each month.
If payment for any month is not made by the arranged day, the Direct Debit facility
may be withdrawn and the remaining balance will become due immediately.
Pay online – you can pay your bill online using a credit or debit card.
Go to www.southeastwater.co.uk/my-account/make-a-payment
Alternative payment options
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Payment can be made free of charge at any branch of HSBC Bank
Standing order – set up your agreed instalment through your bank, free of
charge
Pay at any PayPoint outlet, free of charge
Pay at any branch of your own bank and this will also normally be free of
charge
Make payment over the telephone, using debit or credit cards by calling our
Customer Service Centre. There is no additional cost to you for this service
Make payment at the Post Office using a bar code on your bill
Send payment by cheque or postal order through the post. You should not
send cash by post
Flexible payment plan
For customers experiencing payment difficulties we may be able to agree a flexible
payment plan. This enables an agreed monthly amount to be paid. Customers may
then decide how often to pay, as long as the agreed amount has been paid in full by
the end of the month. If any of the agreed instalments are missed the total balance
will become due immediately and the facility to use this payment method will be
withdrawn.
To apply for this payment option customers should contact the Customer Service
Centre.
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9.4 Water direct
Water direct is run in partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP)
and is available to customers in receipt of the following benefits:
•
•
•
•
•
Income support
Job seekers allowance – Income based
Pension credit
Employment and support allowance – Income related
Universal credit
It may be possible for the DWP to pay us directly from your benefits if you are in
receipt of one of the above.
The scheme is free and, if eligible, you will not have to worry about any further debt
recovery action. You’ll pay your current year’s charges plus a fixed amount to help
clear your arrears.
Many customers find that payments are easier to manage as they are spread in a
more affordable way.
9.5 Billing period
We do our best to bill regularly and to ensure that our bills are correct. In case of
error we reserve the right to make retrospective adjustments.
This may mean that we need to bill for more than one year’s charges when
information on the occupation of premises was not provided to us or when incorrect
information was provided to us on the actual occupation of the premises.
We will make retrospective adjustments that are in favour of customers (subject to
the applicable limitation period).
We will consider adjustments in our favour (subject to the applicable limitation period)
on a case by case basis and will take account of the specific circumstances. We will
also seek to mitigate the impact on the customer where charges are billed for more
than one year.
We will not make a retrospective adjustment in our favour, if there is clear evidence
that undercharging was due only to an error on our part.
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10 Special tariffs
We offer the following special tariffs to make customers’ water supply more
affordable. We will endeavour to identify the most appropriate tariff tailored to each
individual customer’s needs.
Section 7.2 also outlines a special tariff to help customers who are on low incomes
and are being metered as part of our customer metering programme.
10.1 WaterSure
The WaterSure assistance is available when a person who occupies premises for
which metered charges apply as their only or principal home, is entitled to receive
any one of the benefits, or tax reductions, listed below and either (i) that person is
also entitled to receive child benefit for three or more children under the age of 19
who reside in the premises or (ii) a person with any of the medical conditions listed
below that requires additional use of water lives in the premises. The WaterSure
assistance is defined in the Water Industry (Charges) (Vulnerable Groups)
(Consolidation) Regulations 2015 which include more provisions on the WaterSure
assistance.
Please note that the WaterSure assistance applies even when a person other than
the person paying the bills satisfies the required conditions.
If you meet the criteria for WaterSure assistance, your charges will be based on our
average charges for household consumers for the relevant tariff zone but will be
adjusted periodically if you would have paid less without the WaterSure assistance.
The WaterSure assistance will apply for billing periods starting on 1 April and ending
on 31 March. If you apply in the course of a billing period, your entitlement will last
until the following 31 March. If your entitlement to the WaterSure assistance ceases
part way through a billing period, the assistance will end at the end of that
billing period.
The relevant benefits, or tax reductions, are the following (including as defined in the
regulations):
•
•
•
•
Council tax reduction
Housing benefit
Income support
Disabled person’s tax credit
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Working families tax credit
Income-based job-seeker’s allowance
State pension credit
Child tax credit, if it includes an amount in respect of the individual element of
child tax credit
Working tax credit
Income-related employment and support allowance
Universal credit
These benefits and tax reductions may change. Please check
southeastwater.co.uk/watersure for confirmation.
The qualifying medical conditions are the following (or as defined in the regulations):
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Desquamation
Weeping skin disease
Incontinence
Abdominal stoma
Crohn’s disease
Ulcerative colitis
Renal failure requiring dialysis at home (where a contribution to the cost of the
water consumed in the process is not made by the health authority)
Or, a medical condition other than one listed above and as a result of that
condition the person suffering from the condition is obliged to use a significant
additional volume of water
Water supplied to the premises is not to be used for watering a garden, other than by
hand, by means of any apparatus, or automatically replenishing a pond, or a
swimming pool, with a capacity greater than 10,000 litres.
For more information and to apply for the WaterSure assistance, please contact our
Customer Service Centre.
10.2 Social tariff
A social tariff has been developed for customers on a low income or in receipt of
specific benefits.
This is designed to assist and support our most vulnerable customers. The water
charges will be capped at a fixed amount for each tariff zone as shown in Appendix 1
and will apply to all eligible customers on measured, unmeasured or assessed
charges.
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Qualifying criteria
To qualify for the social tariff a customer’s household income should be £16,105 per
year or less.
Please note that the household income of £16,105 per year or less must include all
types of income except the following:
•
•
•
•
•
Child tax credit and/or child benefit
Disability living allowance / Personal Independence Payment
Attendance allowance
Housing benefit and council tax reduction
Mortgage interest relief
The tariff will be applied from the date of application for all charging methods and is
valid until the customer’s circumstances change and they are no longer eligible.
We will check applications to verify entitlement to assistance. We will also inform your
wastewater provider so that they can assess if there is any additional support that
they can provide you.
Applications that are unsuccessful will be checked for eligibility for all other tariffs or
services to see if we can assist further. Where appropriate, and with the agreement
of the customer, we may also refer customers to external agencies for advice.
Our social tariff had been designed following guidance under section 44 of the Flood and
Water Management
Act 2010.
For more information and to apply for the social tariff, please contact our Customer
Service Centre.
11 Change of occupation
If you are planning to move to premises within our supply area, you can obtain
information on which type of water charges are applicable for the premises by visiting
our website or contacting our Customer Service Centre.
You must notify us of the date you will begin to live at or use the premises and
provide all details we reasonably require to setup your account. Occupiers must pay
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the charges in respect of any services we provide to them from the date they became
the occupier of the premises.
In the event of a change of occupier, the new occupier or owner is responsible for
informing us if a water supply to the property is no longer required. No retrospective
allowances will be made.
If you are a landlord or a managing agent of properties in England and Wales, you
can use Landlord TAP an easy to use website that allows you to provide us with
details of your tenants who are responsible for the payment of water charges –
landlordtap.com
11.1 Vacant premises and responsibility for water charges
11.1.1 Metered premises
Notice that customer will vacate premises
You must notify us at least two working days in advance of the date you will cease to
occupy the premises. You will remain liable for payment of metered charges, even
after leaving the property, unless we are given this notice. ‘Two working days’ means
a consecutive 48-hour period that excludes Saturdays and Sundays or any other day
designated as a bank holiday in England and Wales.
If two working days’ notice is not given, then you will be liable to pay the water
charges until the first to occur of the following:
•
•
•
28 days after we receive the late notification
The day on which the meter would have normally been read
The day a new occupier advises us that they have become the new occupier
of the premises
We will offer to close your account on an estimated read or give you the option of
reading the meter yourself, including where two working days’ notice is not provided
if there has not been any excessive delay in notifying us.
Notice that water is no longer required
Where you notify us in writing that a water supply to your metered premises will no
longer be required by a certain date set out in the notice without vacating the
premises by that date, we may disconnect the service pipe or otherwise cut off the
supply to these premises and you will cease to be responsible for the charges after
the later of (i) the expiry of the notice and (ii) the end of a period of two working days
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beginning with the service of the notice, except where a new supply is requested or
actually used for the same premises.
Where you serve a written notice that a water supply is no longer required in respect
of metered premises and vacate the premises by the date set out in the notice, the
responsibility for water charges will be as explained in the previous section. We may
also disconnect the service pipe or otherwise cut off the supply to these premises.
11.1.2 Unmetered premises
Notice that water is no longer required
Where you notify us in writing that a water supply to your unmetered premises will no longer
be required by a certain date set out in the notice (whether or not you vacate these premises
by that date), we may disconnect the service pipe or otherwise cut off the supply to these
premises and you will cease to be responsible for the charges after the later of (i) the expiry
of the notice and (ii) the end of a period of two working days beginning with the service of the
notice, except where a supply is requested or used for the same premises.
Vacant unmetered premises
Where unmetered premises are vacated without notifying us, unmetered charges will
only cease to be applied if and from the time you are able to demonstrate to our
reasonable satisfaction that:
•
•
•
No one lives at the premises or uses the premises
The premises are unfurnished, and
The water supply to the premises is not being used for any purpose
You must confirm in writing that a water supply is no longer required. No
retrospective allowance will be made.
In such circumstances we may choose to disconnect the premises or otherwise cut
off the supply.
Where unmetered charges remain payable but no one is living in the premises or the
premises are not being used, you may be able to reduce the charges payable by
requesting the installation of a meter (Please see section 8 (Changing from an
unmetered to a metered supply) for more details).
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11.2 Payment of closing account for previously occupied premises
If a debt exists in respect of premises you previously occupied in our area of supply,
then subsequent payments that you make to us may be applied (at our sole
discretion) to the payment of that debt until it is fully paid before your payments are
applied to the charges relating to the premises you are occupying or have
subsequently occupied.
11.3 Empty property due to long-term hospitalisation (greater than
four weeks)
If premises are to be unoccupied for a period greater than four weeks due to longterm hospitalisation or a stay in another institution to receive medical care, we will
cancel the charges for the period of hospitalisation or medical care on receipt of a
letter from your medical practitioner confirming the period of hospitalisation or
medical care.
This does not apply where the occupier of the premises moves to an institution such
as a care home or nursing home which becomes their new permanent residence. In
these cases you should let us know if the premises are unoccupied and that you no
longer require a water supply to the premises.
11.4 Bereavement
If we are notified of bereavement, we will update our records to minimise any
distress or inconvenience.
•
•
•
•
If the account was in a joint name, we will update the account and any bill will
be reissued in the appropriate name
If the premises have been sold, we will issue a closing account to the
executor and open a new account for the new owner
If the premises are empty pending sale, we will issue a closing statement to
the executor
If the premises are empty but the water supply cannot be turned off because
water is required at the premises, a closing statement will be sent to the
executor and a new account opened for the person who has requested the
supply
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11.5 Empty properties – disconnection by South East Water
A new service pipe and connection will be required if an existing supply has been
turned off or disconnected for a period in excess of five years in order to protect
water quality.
Where premises remain empty for 12 months, the service pipe to the premises must
be flushed before a supply can be provided in order to avoid contamination by
stagnant water of the water supplied to the premises and of the water in our main. A
water quality test will also be required, conducted at the customer’s expense, to
ensure that there is no contamination of the water supply.
For charges relating to flushing please refer to Appendix 2 – Miscellaneous charges.
Rented properties and flats
Where any previously rented property is unoccupied and there is no agreement with
the owner or landlord for the payment of the water charges or the owner or landlord
will not take responsibility for the charges, we may apply our policy for empty
properties and may turn off or disconnect the water supply at the stop tap.
If you are a landlord or a managing agent of properties in England and Wales, you
can use Landlord TAP an easy to use website that allows you to provide us with
details of your tenants who are responsible for the payment of water charges landlordtap.com
12 Value Added Tax (VAT)
Supplies of water to household premises are zero-rated. VAT is payable on certain
charges for services to customers.
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13 Additional charges
Unmetered properties with swimming pool
Most properties with swimming pools are metered; however an additional charge will
be applied for unmetered properties with swimming pools. These charges are levied
annually and apply for the period commencing on 1 April and ending on 31 March.
These charges are apportioned if a change in occupation occurs.
Where you have been granted a swimming pool licence in respect of unmetered
premises with a swimming pool, we will review this arrangement regularly to
ascertain whether a meter is required for the associated supply.
Where appropriate we may insist on a meter being installed.
You must advise us when installing a temporary or permanent swimming pool.
Full details of these charges are set out in Appendix 1 – Schedule of charges.
Returned cheques and rejected Direct Debit payment instructions
An administration charge may be applied at our discretion in respect of any void or
dishonoured cheque or Direct Debit transaction.
Legal costs, tracing fees and collection fees
In the event that a county court claim is issued for the recovery of any unpaid water
charges, we will charge for any costs we incurred in relation to that process, including
solicitors’ fixed costs, court fees and any additional enforcement costs. These costs
may also include any fees that have been incurred in the service of court documents
or collection services.
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14 Collection of outstanding charges
Household customers
We will collect our charges in accordance with our code of practice ‘Household water
charges, payment options and debt recovery’ available from the website or by
contacting our Customer Service Centre. Our debt recovery process is explained in
our code of practice and may include action through a debt collection agency or the
courts. We also recover wastewater charges on behalf of Thames Water, Severn
Trent and Southern Water (when we bill on their behalf) together with our own
charges.
Debt relief
Where a customer enters into any formal insolvency procedure, we will apportion any
charges on a daily basis up to the date immediately before the date the relevant
insolvency procedure becomes effective (‘the insolvency date’). Any apportioned
charges after the insolvency date will be payable by the occupier of the property in
question and fall due on the next day of occupation after the insolvency date and will
not fall within the insolvency procedure. The charges will be payable by the person
responsible for the payment of water and wastewater charges for the property in
question on the same terms as would apply if the property had been newly occupied
on that day.
15 Terminology used in this document
‘Connection’ or ‘Service pipe connection’ means the installation of a section of
service pipe we are responsible for laying under the Water Industry Act 1991 (the
‘communication pipe’) and the connection to our water main and to the private
section of service pipe including associated fittings.
‘Household premises’ means any premises determined to be household premises by
us or Ofwat in accordance with section 17C of the Water Industry Act 1991 and any
relevant regulation or guidance.
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‘Licence’ means the instrument of appointment of South East Water Ltd as a water
undertaker under the Water Industry Act 1991.
‘Ofwat’ means the Water Services Regulatory Authority, the economic regulator for
the water industry in England and Wales.
‘Cubic metre’ or ‘m3’ means 1,000 litres.
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Appendix 1
Schedule of charges, 2018-2019
Excluding VAT
All charges apply to supplies provided from 1 April 2018
Unmetered water supplies
Annual standing charge
West
Mid Southern
£
20.90
East
Eastbourne
£
20.90
Mid Sussex
£
20.90
West Kent
£
20.90
Mid Kent
£
50.92
Rateable value charges
Value charge per £ of rateable value
West
Mid Southern
£
0.9680
East
Eastbourne
£
1.6077
Mid Sussex
£
1.6077
West Kent
£
1.5057
Mid Kent
£
1.3344
Metered water supplies
The following charges apply to supplies provided from 1 April and where applicable
metered bills will be apportioned to take into account any consumption prior to 1
April. This will be shown on the bill as two separate calculations.
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Meter access charge
* The meter access charge is the aggregate of the existing charge in relation to the
premises plus a surcharge of £171.31.
Annual standing charge
Domestic meters installed before 1 April 2003
All meter sizes
£31.00
Meters installed on and after 1 April 2003
Meter Size (mm)
Standing Charge
12/15
£
31.72
20/22
£
45.14
25/28
£
51.88
30/32/35
£
65.56
40/42
£
75.78
50/54
£
87.46
65
£
94.52
75/80
£
110.84
100
£
148.12
125/150
£
203.50
300
£
241.18
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Standard volumetric charges
Volumetric charge per m3
West
East
Low User*
£
£
£
1.3007
1.7166
2.1011
* Only available to existing customers on this tariff
Assessed water charges
Household premises
Assessed
West
East
1 Bedroom
£
131.24
£
165.36
2 Bedroom
£
164.22
£
208.20
3 Bedroom
£
197.08
£
249.16
4 Bedroom
£
228.48
£
292.32
Single Room
£
81.26
£
96.06
Single Occupier
£
107.40
£
131.24
WaterSure tariff
Charges based on average household bill
West
£
East
192.17
£
227.58
Social tariff
West
£
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East
131.24
£
165.36
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Most properties with swimming pools are metered. An additional charge of £153.41
will be made for those unmeasured properties with swimming pools. These charges
are levied for the period 1 April to 31 March and are not apportioned on change of
occupation of the premises during the year. As part of our policy to promote efficient
use of water we will progressively meter all properties with swimming pools.
Large user – Saver Tariffs
Household premises
Annual
Consumption
Additional Fixed Charge
Volumetric Charges
West
West
East
East
10 - 49.99 ML
£
1,991.26
£ 2,620.36
£
1.1107
£
1.4644
50+ ML
£
5,890.84
£ 7,766.40
£
1.0317
£
1.3604
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Appendix 2
Miscellaneous charges, 2018-19
Excluding VAT
Household non-primary charges 2018-19
TOTAL
Reconnection1
Standard reconnection
Non-standard reconnection (including clamp/plug)
A new connection must be applied following all permanent
disconnections
£102.84
POA
refer to New
Connection Charges
Emergency temporary disconnection and reconnection
Standard
Non-standard / out of hours
no charge
costs reasonably
incurred
Inspection / survey charges
Inspection
First hour
9 Additional 30mins (up to four additional hours2)
£102.84
£19.74
Survey
First hour
9 Additional 30mins (up to four additional hours2)
£102.84
£19.74
Adhoc/miscellaneous works (specific terms and conditions may apply)
POA
Testing of meters
Meter checked on site:
First visit – test shows meter to be accurate
Subsequent visit:
Test shows meter accurate - connected to a house
Test shows meter to be inaccurate
Meter removal:
Test shows meter to be accurate - connected to a house
Test shows meter to be inaccurate
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no charge
£20.00
no charge
£70.00
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Metering
Installation of meter (where feasible)
Replacement of faulty meter3
no charge
no charge
Other metering works:
Survey
refer to
inspection/survey
charges
- Relocate meter
POA
- Change of meter model/size
POA
- Adhoc metering works (e.g. enabling works that we agree to carry out) POA
NOTE: activities above may be combined
Adhoc meter reading
Adhoc meter reading visit4
£14.54
Debt and payment charges
Returned cheques
Rejected direct debit
Legal and trace fees
Exercise of power of entry
Debt collection agency fees
costs reasonably
incurred
costs reasonably
incurred
costs reasonably
incurred
costs reasonably
incurred
costs reasonably
incurred
Water quality testing
Water quality testing
9 Inspection charges to obtain sample may also apply - see inspection
costs above
POA
Assisted leakage repair
Leak detection (first hour)
no charge
9 Additional 30mins, with your agreement
£19.00
NOTE: please refer to "code of practice Leaks from customer supply pipes" for assistance we may
provide to repair/replace supply pipes
Replacement of lead pipe
Replacement of communication pipe (provided customer replaces supply no charge
pipe)
Adhoc works (e.g. replacement of supply pipe)
POA
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Map charge
Providing water infrastructure maps to customers (per map)
(no site visit required)
Installation of splitters and data loggers
Survey and installations works (for large users)
Specific terms and conditions may apply
£11.63
POA
Abortive / cancellation charges
Standard missed appointment
Non-standard missed appointment5
£102.84
POA
Standard cancellation
Non-standard cancellation5
£30.64
POA
NOTE Unless specified above, all services are only provided during standard
hours
POA Price on application
1
In the case of reconnection following disconnection due to water quality or breach of water fitting
regulations, an inspection and/or sample charges may apply.
2
Where inspection/survey is expected to exceed five hours overall we will seek consent before
continuing works
3
Where damage is done by customer, then costs reasonably incurred repairing or replacing the
meter will be charged including survey costs. If a change of size/model/location is requested then
additional charges may be payable, as outlined in table above
4
This charge applies if we are unable to read meter due to your acts of
omission
5
Non-standard cancellation and abortive fees will cover the costs incurred up to the time of
cancellation and the costs of any resources that we are unable to reallocate to other activities (such
as highway closures, plant hire, multiple workforce, etc)
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Contact Us
South East Water
Rocfort Road
Snodland
Kent
ME6 5AH
southeastwater.co.uk
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