Like many of your readers, I recently received notice that my water charges from Hafren Dyfrdwy for 2023/24 were increasing.  

In my case, for water only - unmetered, by no less than 41.8%, which I considered to be outrageous. I took the matter up with Craig Williams MP’s office and he subsequently wrote to the company on behalf of myself and several others.  

I also put in a formal complaint on the company’s website and wrote to Hafren’s CEO personally.  

To be fair the responses were very comprehensive, but I found the content of those and subsequent mails disturbing.


For example, the company’s response to Mr Williams contains the sentence ‘Ultimately, the balancing of our charges across customers on an unmeasured (Rateable Value) charge and customers on a water meter will continue in the medium term.’ In other words, we should expect more of the same.  

I have described this to the CEO as ‘chillingly Orwellian’.

The company is trying to incentivise customers to take up a metered supply.  At present water usage is measured by the company by area, subtracting an allowance for leaks (through a formula agreed with OFWAT) and metered usage they can arrive at an aggregate usage for unmetered customers for which they want to charge more.  

It is their view that lower usage customers are more likely to change to metered supply therefore those who cannot or do not want a meter will face disproportionately higher price increases going forward.  This year’s rise is just a start.

For those who don’t already know, there is an alternative ‘Allocated Charge’ tariff which might be of use for small households.  

However, for my wife and I, the charge would be even higher than the rateable value method and in any case the basis of the allocation is unclear.

I have informed the CEO that it is my intention to take this complaint through to OFWAT but a necessary first step is to go through the Consumer Council for Water.  

This I have done and expect an answer within a couple of weeks.  I am not anticipating a resolution at that stage but will then be able to take the matter up with OFWAT hopefully with our MP’s support.
John Brautigam, Llanfyllin