Lissa Balmer: The importance of understanding your water bill

Lissa Balmer, Director of SME Customers, Wave

Lissa Balmer, Wave's Director of SME Customers, lets us know her top tips for understanding your water bill.

We’re unbelievably in our sixth year of the non-household market and I still get asked by customers, how do I know the quote I’m getting is right and what am I getting for my money? Understanding your bill and whether you’re getting good value for money is especially important as a business riding the uncertainty of the current economic climate and I’ve got plenty of tips to help make it easier to understand your water bill and whether it’s indicative of your usage.

I always start by saying, look at your current bill!

What’s included within it? For example, are you on a meter or not? I often hear people commenting about significant savings and it makes me a little nervous! Usually, if something is too good to be true it is.

Always make sure any quote contains everything you currently have on your bills. I know it’s often not easy as different wholesalers, for example, Anglian and Northumbrian, charge in different ways. This makes it even more important to keep your eyes wide open when looking at your bill.

Breaking down your bill

Water bills can be quite complex to read so make sure you spend time looking it over and making sure it includes everything you need.

To ensure your bill is reflective of your actual water usage you need to submit regular meter reads. At Wave we regularly highlight why using Automatic Meter Readers is beneficial for business as it removes this manual step from the billing process.

Automatic Meter Readers allow you to manage your water consumption levels 24 hours a day and spot any unexpected increases or abnormalities. It also helps make your bills more accurate as they’ll reflect your water usage.

Billing across multiple sites

Many of our customers have more than one business or more than one premises, so I’m used to hearing from customers with bills which are difficult to understand and breakdown. Our services are designed to make things straightforward, with no difficulty for our customers in understanding or paying their bills. Wave makes it easy to consolidate your bills and manage both your business water and wastewater effectively.

Be alert to consumption changes

At Wave, we can support your business with High Consumption Alerts or HCAs, which flag up if your water usage has risen more than usual. Often this can be due to a leak or issues with water management and our alerts allow you to quickly respond and investigate the matter.

The potential costs of allowing high consumption to go unnoticed can be significant, so I always recommend our HCAs service to customers. This case study at Oxfordshire County Council shows just how valuable they can be, as an alert allowed the client to act quickly and investigate a consumption increase, which could have cost them over £1000.

If in doubt, always ask

If your water bill or quote doesn’t seem quite right, then the best thing you can do is get in touch and one of the team will happily go through anything you don’t quite understand or want to query.

It’s really important you properly understand your bill and the rates you’re paying and I hope this blog has given you a little more insight into how your bills are prepared and how to understand them fully. We’ve also got a downloadable bill guide if you need more specific information.