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Second home owners to pick up "zero" water bills amid anger over Government rebate

By WMN_PGoodwin  |  Posted: February 13, 2013

Comments (9)

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.

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  • pogle63a  |  February 14 2013, 7:53AM

    Water rebate what a joke that has already been nabbed by next years council tax increase. Stay down peasants!!!!!!

    |   5
  • Fistral20  |  February 14 2013, 7:50AM

    Oh dear, doesn't the mention of second home owners get some people's backs up? No matter what your thoughts on that particular topic josdave (and I think I've worked it out), why should anyone, irrespective of their status or wealth, pay for something they don't use? I've said in previous posts where second home owners have been criticised that they proportionately more than permanent residents because, for example, a 100% Council Tax bill for 50% residence effectively equates to double the payment in my books. Get over it.

  • sasquatch1  |  February 14 2013, 6:59AM

    Water rates as already mentioned cover the considerable costs of maintenance as already mentioned.So second home owners should certainly pay a small amount towards these costs,rather than actually getting free water,however little it may be.

    |   1
  • OscarDelta  |  February 13 2013, 8:36PM

    Man, these news vultures will find a negative in anything, won't they!

    |   3
  • Devonview  |  February 13 2013, 8:07PM

    They may not use the water but they require the drains, the clean water, the sewage whilst they're here in their second homes. That doesn't need repair & maintenance only when they're here.

    |   2
  • Waltersmith  |  February 13 2013, 7:54PM

    Use less water - we got through 18 metres last quarter - and could easily use less

    |   -1
  • josdave  |  February 13 2013, 7:49PM

    Of course they are using the service even if they're only there a few weeks of the year why should they get it for free when we have to pay through the nose for it?

    |   -1
  • JMonners  |  February 13 2013, 7:22PM

    Well if they arent using any why pay??

    |   2
  • josdave  |  February 13 2013, 7:06PM

    Given that the rebate is coming from the Treasury - that is us the taxpayers- and not the well stocked coffers of SWW we aree not only rebating ourselves but also looking after those who turn our towns and villages into ghost towns out of season.