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Water agency apologises after overcharging church

Lisnaskea Presbyterian Church

Lisnaskea Presbyterian Church

NI WATER has apologised for over-charging a Fermanagh church, which it wrongly billed for using around 400 litres of water each Sunday. 
A spokesman for the utility company said it was working with Lisnaskea Presbyterian Church to “correct any errors” that had been identified after church treasurer, Drew Wigham, first noticed their bill had begun to creep upwards dramatically. 
“There are meters out on the footpath immediately outside, and I’d just been paying the bill as it came in,” he said, explaining a while ago they had received an unmetered bill, followed by a bill for £62. 
“I thought this seemed a bit big for a small church, but then we received one for £93,” he continued. “I looked at the bill, and how long it was for, and then I realised it was for eight cubic litres, which is 8,000 litres. That works out at, over 20 Sundays, as 400 litres per Sunday.” 
With the bill having confirmed Mr Wigham’s suspicions that an error was occurring, he examined the bill further. 
“ I looked and noticed that on the bill the number didn’t match the meter outside the church. It turned out it was for the premises that was one up for us,” he said. “The real bill should have been for £42.” 
Mr Wigham has since written to NI Water, but added that even since he began his correspondence with the utility company, they had received another unmetered bill, which includes a period of time he had previous already paid for. 
However, in between sending his emails and speaking with the Herald, he said he’d received another unmetered bill from NI Water, covering a period that included some of the time frame he’d previously already paid for. 
Wigham made clear NI Water had admitted their mistakes and were taking steps to rectify the matter, but said he was frustrated with the number of errors and the hassle it had caused. 
A spokesman for NI Water said they were working with the church to investigate and correct any errors. 
“It is regrettable that there appears to have been an error and NI Water apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused,” they said.
They added: “NI Water endeavour to bill our customers accurately at all times but on occasions errors occur.  It is recommended that customers monitor their consumption regularly by reading the meter and compare the meter details on their bill against the meter on the supply. 
“If customers identify any discrepancy they should contact NI Water Billing line on 03458 770030.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA