More about the reversal of your temporary vacancy and interim bill

1. Why can’t my account be set as temporarily vacant and I not be charged during the period I told you my business was closed?
Ofwat’s (the water industry regulator) guidance for accounts being set as Temporary Vacant is that if there  was no, or minimal, water use while your business was closed and your premises weren’t being used.  We’ve reviewed your account and, based on meter reads we’ve had from your property, have found there’s been 5% or more of normal water and/or wastewater used during this period. Therefore, you’re not eligible for the temporary vacancy.

2. ​Why did you tell me my business was set to temporary vacant and then tell me I wasn’t eligible?
Based on government guidance and your business type, we made your business temporarily vacant. We did this to help if your business had to close due to COVID. All our communications explained that if water and/or wastewater was used at your premises you wouldn’t be eligible for the temporary vacancy.

3. Who made the decision to charge for consumption when I was closed?
We’re following industry wide guidelines, set by Ofwat (the water industry regulator), to charge you for the water that’s been used at your premises while you were temporarily vacant because of COVID-19.
 
4. Why am I being billed?
Because your water meter readings, while your business was temporarily vacant, have shown that 5% or more of water has been used, we have to send you a bill for this water. Ofwat, set out these rules during the COVID-19 period. The wholesaler in your region has charged us for the water that’s past through your meter, so we’re passing on these charges in our bill to you, as we do with normal billing.
 
5. When will I receive my bill?
We’re in the process of updating all accounts. As we’ve identified your account as being ineligible for temporary vacancy, your bill will arrive in the next few weeks. If you use your online MyAccount, you’ll receive an email when your bill is ready to view.
 
6. How can I pay my bill?
The easiest way to pay is online by using your MyAccount. With MyAccount you can view, print and download all your bills, make payments, set up and amend Direct Debits, send meter readings and more, all at any time that’s best for you. If you’re not already using MyAccount, please set yours up here. Alternatively, you can call us on 0345 072 6072 to pay your bill. Our office is open 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays

7. I can’t afford to pay my bill, what are my payment support options?
Paying by Direct Debit is the best way to manage your water bills if you’re having difficulties in paying.

We can offer you a few Direct Debit payment options to help spread the cost of any outstanding balance on your account, as well as cover your water costs going forward.

Setting up a Direct Debit also means you won’t miss paying a bill and get charged any late payment fees.

If you already pay by Direct Debit, we can talk to you about adjusting your payment amount if this will help you.

To talk to us about Direct Debit, or other payment support options, please call 0345 072 6072
 
8. You told me I have used water and/or wastewater, but my business has been closed?
If your premises have been empty, but the water meter has shown water has been used, it might suggest there is a hidden leak at your premise, or you’ve had taps or equipment that are dripping. Leaking pipes that lose water, which you can’t spot, is a common cause for higher than expected meter readings. Once water has passed through your meter you do have to pay for it though and any leaking pipes or equipment are your responsibility. If you think you haven’t used any water, it’s worth checking for leaks. You can find more about leaks here on our website.  



 
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