A £30,000 water bill overcharge by Yorkshire Water identified by The Water Audit Experts H20.
Water audit experts at H20 Building Services completed a historical water audit report and revealed that Yorkshire Water had overcharged a business customer over 90% of the total annual water bill for many years, the total water bill was £6,710 per year.
This bill was a charge for surface water drainage based on a site area Band G, the charge is based on the total site area for the collection and treatment of rainwater falling onto the site.
The charge was levied to the customer by Yorkshire Water based on an “assumption” that the charges levied were correct, with no physical site visit assessment, merely carry out a site measurement remotely and send water bills to the customer not really knowing whether or not the water bill was correct or not!
If Yorkshire Water had taken the time and made the effort to visit the site in the first place in order to ascertain the correct basis of charge then the customer concerned would not have been overcharged this year alone by £6,327!
The correct charge for surface water drainage should be £383 per year , a staggering 95% overcharge! Initial estimates are that Yorkshire Water have overcharged this business customer over £30,000.
H20 submitted the evidence of the water bill overcharges together with a claim to repay the overcharges and a refund of £6,209 was received, which was approx. £24,000 short. Although H20 received a telephone call from Yorkshire Water saying that the overcharges would be refunded then soon after a full refund of overcharges was withdrawn. This is what Yorkshire Water said.
“Please accept my sincere apologies for the two calls you received on the 7th April 2016, firstly advising that we will backdate the claim 6 years plus current then secondly that we would only be back dating the claim to 1st April 2015”
With Yorkshire Water refusing to re-pay the substantial water bill overcharges a complaint was submitted to Yorkshire Water.
“Thank you for your call earlier and your colleagues call which came 30 minutes or so before yours and your email below.
As stated I am sending this now through as a complaint due to the fact as stated in our initial claim and my email of the 1st April 2016 your company were billing our mutual client on a Banded area charge G which is an area of 35,001 – 150,000. But as you have agreed with our findings the area you should have billed our mutual client on was a Band E 2,001 – 15,000m2 as at least 90% of the site does not have ANY sewers for surface water disposal into your sewer system.
To state in your call that it is our clients fault that these charges were not disputed is a disgraceful comment, as your company have a duty of care to ensure the correct charges are levied.
Your company should have billed our mutual client correctly in the first place not taken payment for something that you have had no right to as these charges you levy are for the acceptance, conveyance and disposal of rain water and as you have already agreed at least 90% of the site is not connected therefore you have not incurred any costs for this whatsoever for this portion of the site, therefore to claim you will only refund 1 year is disgraceful, and unacceptable.
You are out on your banded area size charge by 135,000 m2 and you blame this on our mutual client that that was not charged correctly, our mutual client is not a water expert or indeed a water company and have up until now trusted your company to charge them correctly for services supplied.
Of the charges for surface water disposal totalling £6,710.45 now reduced to £383.45 you have to admit this is a staggering overcharge by Yorkshire Water, may be just may be there would be a level of acceptance if the overcharge was a few hundred pounds, but this level of overcharge is extreme and off the scale in terms of surface water charges in fact nearly 95% overcharge!
We therefore urge you to seriously consider refunding these overcharges back to when the charge band was levied as no less will be accepted.”
Yorkshire Water again rejected the claim for a full refund of overcharges, the company considers that “Your client has ample opportunity to apply for a review!” Oh our client? Not a client of Yorkshire Water? it seems not if they owe their client £30,000!
Yorkshire Water claim on their own website ” Our aim is to confirm that your being charged correctly by your water supplier and are aware of any rebates which could be refunded to you”
A site map is below, only a tiny portion of the site drains to Yorkshire Water’s surface water discharge pipes.
Lets see if Yorkshire Water will act with honesty and integrity and repay their own customer £30,000 in overcharges.