Second home owners could escape paying anything on their water bills under the Government's £50 per year annual reduction in water charges, it has emerged.
Customers who use less than the annual rebate each year – such as infrequent visitors to small cottages – may not be charged anything at all, South West Water has confirmed.
Meanwhile, 70,000 householders who pay business rates and council tax at their home address – such as rural post offices and small shopkeepers – will not save a penny, regardless of whether they use water as part of their operation.
The anomalies have come to light as bills begin to land on doormats across the region as part of a compensation scheme for the botched water industry privatisation.
South West customers have been paying for the upkeep of a third of the nation's beaches, paying the highest bills in the country for many years.
A spokesman for the company said "zero" bills were possible though no cash would be paid out in the event of a "credit".
See tomorrow's Western Morning News for more.