The Consumer Council is encouraging businesses to get in touch with the organisation for free, independent advice to ensure they aren’t paying more for their water than they have to.
As well as practical steps which Ballymena businesses can take to save water and money such as checking meters and any leaks, the Consumer Council is keen to highlight the fact that anyone with a water meter and paying business rates, can claim a domestic allowance - a free allowance of water worth over £500 each year. It is free to apply and claims can be back-dated up to six years.
Speaking about the assistance available to businesses, Aodhan O’Donnell, Consumer Council Interim Chief Executive said; “We have a number of resources available to help businesses ensure they are not paying more than they have to for utilities like water. Our online water usage calculators and guides for businesses such as, ‘Every Drop Counts’ are available to download free at www.consumercouncil.org.uk or by calling us on 0800 121 6022. Users can also work out Average Daily Consumption (ADC), assessed charges and possible unmeasured charges.
“We would also be happy to hear from businesses who would like to find out more about saving money on utility bills generally or who would like more information on the water allowances which may be due to them,” said Aodhan.
Speaking about the assistance the Consumer Council offers to businesses, Glyn Roberts Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) said: “I would encourage all our members to check their bills for both accuracy and any allowances due. The Consumer Council can help with this and can offer free, independent advice on any water or energy issues.”
The Consumer Council can also investigate unresolved complaints against regulated utility providers. It has recently achieved successful outcomes for NI businesses and farms, as well as Altnagelvin Hospital where the organisation secured a £285k refund, marking its most successful investigation ever after a billing dispute with NI Water.