How can my water company be charging me incorrectly
There is a huge prevalence of incorrect charging for water services across the entire UK. This has resulted from poor quality data inherited following privatisation in 1989 and a number of poorly implemented charge assessment projects, which were undertaken by the water companies in an attempt to improve their billing databases. If we have contacted you regarding potentially incorrect charging at your premises, we recommend that you send us a copy of your water bill now. It is highly likely that your business is paying more than it should and that the overcharging has been going on for many years.
How do you know we are being overcharged, when you haven’t seen my bill
We can never be 100% certain that a business is being incorrectly charged for water services until we have analysed your bill.
However, we have proven methods of identifying charging errors in each water company area. If we have contacted you regarding possible overcharging, then it is highly likely there is a problem. We secure rebates or annual savings for 70% of the customers we contact.
Please remember, we’ll assess your bill free of charge and with no obligation – and if you do sign up with us, you only pay us if we succeed in getting your money back or charges reduced. If we achieve nothing, you pay us nothing.
Where does my charges rebate or saving come from
We achieve rebates and savings across the full spectrum of water service charges. These include water supply charges, foul drainage charges, surface water drainage charges, meter charges and trade effluent charges.
Your rebate is basically a refund of charges for one or more of these services, which has been incorrectly applied to your business at some point in the past.
Annual savings are achieved when we reduce your charges, either by completely abating a charge or reducing it.
You have contacted me regarding a potential rebate or saving, what do I do next
Please send us a copy of your bill or complete the required information via the Billing Check form on our website. As soon as the information is received, we will check whether you are owed a rebate or saving and come back to you with next steps.
What will your Bill Audit service cost me
We work on a commission based, success fee. If we secure you a cash rebate or annual saving, then we charge you a commission on the amount recovered and the value of the first years annual saving arising from the charge reduction. Our normal commission fee is 33% . If we don’t secure a cash rebate or saving for you, you wont pay us a penny.
I don’t fully understand what you mean by ‘first years annual saving’
We mean the amount of money you will save during the first year following the date the charge reduction was applied. We provide a detailed analysis showing what the charge reduction will save you during this period – and in all cases, the amount of the charge reduction is independently validated by the water company. Unlike some companies, we don’t charge any commission on future savings after the first year.
How is my cash rebate paid
Your cash rebate is paid directly to your bank account by the water company. We do not hold or handle your cash rebate at any time.
Is it correct that you only take a commission of my rebate, when it is received in my bank
Once you have confirmed that you have received the cash rebate in your bank and that it is for the correct amount, we will invoice you for our services in line with the agreed commission rate. Our invoice payment terms are 7 days from receipt.
How do I know you have actually reduced my charges
When we secure a charge reduction and resulting saving for our customers, we request that the water company independently confirm the new charges applied. This gives our clients complete confidence that the saving is real and their water account has been amended.
How quickly will you secure my rebate or saving
Some of the water companies can be very slow to respond, sometimes taking over a month to reply to correspondence. In addition, they may also wish to validate certain information, by inspecting assets on your site or doing a more thorough survey. On average it takes three months to resolve your rebate claim or charge reduction. It can take longer if there is disagreement about some aspect of the claim or if escalation is required through the water company or via the regulator.
What if the Water Company refuses to refund me
This can and does happen. In these circumstances we will escalate the matter as a complaint within the water company and if this does not achieve resolution, we will refer the matter to the Consumer Council for Water, OFWAT or the Scottish Water Commission (the water regulators). In some circumstances, it has been necessary to take legal action against a water company to recover our clients overpayments. This is rare and is done at our cost.
We don’t want to have a bad relationship with our water company supplier(s), as a consequence of using your services
Unlike many of our competitors, we maintain excellent working relationships with most of the water companies. We always maintain professionalism and courtesy and this approach is mirrored by the majority of water companies.
What savings can I expect to achieve by switching supplier
We typically secure savings between 10% - 20%, dependent on your current supplier and charges.
How much do you charge to switch my supplier
We charge you nothing. Your new supplier will pay us a small fee for brokering your business, however unlike the energy sector, this fee is not added to your bill.
My business is reliant on water, will service standards drop if I switch
There are some poor suppliers in the Scottish market, however we do not advocate or promote their services to our customers. The cost of services is important, however we ensure the new supplier is reliable and has good customer service standards.
Business Stream has told me their prices are the cheapest
Some customers have very competitive prices from Business Stream. Some don’t. We recommend that you have Aqua Team explore the best options for your business. If Business Stream (or any other incumbent supplier) is the best option for you, we will tell you. We frequently negotiate significant cost reductions with existing suppliers, without a need to switch.
Can I only switch supplier if my business is in Scotland
At the moment, yes. Although legislation has recently been passed to introduce competition into the English water sector, which it is anticipated will largely mirror the changes implemented in Scotland. English businesses will be able to switch supplier from April 2017.
Can you guarantee savings from the water audit
We cant guarantee savings, however this is why we offer a free preliminary assessment of your site. In most cases, we will be able to advise you if a Water Audit will deliver good results for your site, ensuring you don’t spend money on an audit unnecessarily.
What savings can I expect from a Water Audit?
Our water audits typically reduce consumption by around 40%; however savings can be as high as 90%. It all depends on the age and size of your site, your business activities and processes, the condition of water devices and infrastructure and your cleaning and asset maintenance regimes.
How long will you spend on site
Our basic price provides for two days on site. If more time is needed, we will agree the cost of this with you in advance.
What are ‘quick-fix’ water reduction devices
We offer a range of devices, which we can fit during the initial audit and that deliver an immediate reduction in water usage/wastage and associated costs. The devices include tap diffusers, tank floats, seals/washers, pressure reducing valves and PIR urinal controls. We explain the costs and benefits of each device to you in advance and you choose what items you wish to include in the ‘quick-fix’ list.
How do you prove what savings have been achieved
We accurately measure and benchmark consumption at your site prior to the audit and agree this benchmark level with you. Post-audit usage is then compared to this benchmark to determine the usage reductions and savings achieved.
Do all my paper bills get diverted to you
Yes. We will contact all of your suppliers and arrange for your paper bills to be sent to our bill management bureau. We relieve you of all the administration associated with paper bills – and also deal with any electronic billing or communications sent from the water company.
How do I keep control of my usage, costs and payments
We provide you with on on-line bill management software application called AquaMetrics. AquaMetrics tells you everything you need to know about your water usage and costs, for each individual site or for your entire company.
Aquametrics provides detailed information on usage and costs; and a range of analysis tools designed to help you compare sites using variables and parameters, which are meaningful to your business. Aquametrics automatically alerts you when user-defined parameters are met (excessive cost or usage, for example) and payment files are delivered to you at the desired frequency.
Our Bill Management Bureau deals with all queries and issues relating to your water bills, including all communication with suppliers regarding payments, charges and operational matters.
Is my AquaMetrics Dashboard customised for my business
We work with you to ensure your dashboard is fully customised to meet your business needs and provide timely and useful information. Dashboards can be geared to different management levels within your organisation (e.g. site manager, process manager, regional manager or director) and can relate to individual or groups of sites, as you define. A range of useful dashboard widgets is available, to ensure appropriate information is communicated to you in an accurate and aesthetically pleasing way.
Leakage Detection & Repair:
I think I may have a leak, what should I do
If you have seen an unusual increase in your water costs or your bills have always seemed excessively high, simply email your bill to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Bill Check form on our website. We’ll do some initial investigations with the water company and benchmark your usage against similar businesses. If we think you have a problem and would benefit from a water audit, we’ll contact you with a proposal and next steps.
My site is busy and I don’t want any disruption
Many of our clients operate busy sites and cannot afford interruptions or delays to their business activities. We understand this and will work closely with you to ensure our work is done at a time to suit your specific needs. If we need to work through the night or at weekends, we’ll be there.
How much do you charge to fix a leak
The price to fix a leak varies considerably dependent on its location, depth, ground conditions, requirements for traffic control, extent of reinstatement and requirements to work out of hours. Once we have concluded a leak detection survey, we will send you a Leakage Report containing a detailed quotation for the works.
I need to link our water strategy to our wider corporate and environmental objectives
Understood. We have worked closely with some of the UK’s leading corporations to develop their water strategy. We will ensure our work supports your company’s wider environmental and social objectives; and that it has a consistent direction, clear messages and branding.
I need to present the water strategy to our Directors or Executive Board. Can you help
We will provide you with a fully customised Powerpoint or Keynote presentation and any other designs or electronic media you may require.
I need help to change opinions and behaviours within the business
Great. We can provide you with fully customised awareness campaigns and newsletters, which can be sent to your stakeholders electronically or by hardcopy. We’ll also provide all the copy and media needed for your website – and if you use AquaMetrics, all of your users can have customised dashboards and automated alerts for their sites.
Water Recycling Projects:
How can I be confident my investment in water recycling will achieve a return
We provide you with a fully comprehensive Feasibility Report, detailing the costs and benefits associated with the proposed scheme. We provide an honest assessment of payback/return on investment, based on your historic water usage profiles and Meteorological Office rainfall projections for the area in which your site is located. We only advocate schemes where the payback/ROI is favourable.
Automatic Meter Reading:
What AMR technology do you supply
We offer a range of AMR units from leading suppliers in the utility technology industry at heavily discounted prices. Based on an initial assessment of your site, we will be able to advise you which AMR units would suit your purposes best and overcome any challenges with installation, H&S constraints and data communications. We aim to provide a low-cost, highly reliable AMR solution.