How to save money on water bills

Money Advice Service

With the average water bill in the UK set at roughly £385, it’s no surprise that households are looking to cut their costs. In this guide, we pull together some of the best tips and tricks which could help you reduce water consumption and save hundreds of pounds on your bill.

Slashing your water bill

Switching to a water meter is free and could save you around £100 per year, so it’s well worth investigating.

There are a few ways you can reduce your water bill – we’ve listed some of the best here:

  • Change the way you pay for water: Do you have a water meter, or do you pay a fixed price every year? Depending on your household one method might be cheaper than the other. More on this below.
  • Pick up some free water-saving gadgets: If you’re looking to save water, there are free gadgets available to help you save. Check the Thames Water website, or SaveWaterSaveMoney and enter your postcode to see what you’re entitled to.
  • Don’t waste water: Take a quick shower instead of a bath, turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, fix leaking taps… There are plenty of options when it comes to cutting your water consumption. You can find more tips on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Is it worth switching to a water meter?

Step one – work out how you’re paying

There are two ways you can pay your water bill:

  • You pay a set price per year – this is called rateable billing. How much you pay depends on your home – you can read more on the United Utilities website.
  • You have a water meter – this means you pay for the water you use.

If you’re not sure how you pay, take a look at your bill.

Generally speaking, the bigger your home and the fewer people that live in it, the more likely you are to save money with a water meter. But, don’t try to change without checking the Consumer Council for Water’s calculator.

Step two – work out if it’s worth switching

If you’re on rateable billing, you can choose to get a water meter instead.

This can be cheaper, but it isn’t always.

To see if it’s right for you, use a water usage calculator.

You can use the calculator on the Consumer Council for Water website.

You’ll just need to estimate a few details about your water use – like how often you flush the loo – and it’ll show how much you could save compared to your current rateable bill.

If your water use changes – perhaps when the kids leave home – you might want to try the calculator again.

Can’t get a water meter?

If your water supplier can’t provide you with a water meter, they’re obliged to offer you an alternative to compensate.

This alternative is called an Assessed Charge.

Tips for using less water

Once you have a water meter, depending on your supplier you might not be able to switch back to rateable billing, even if you think it would be cheaper.

In that case, you can save a lot by reducing your water use.

And, as an added bonus, you’ll save on the oil, gas or electricity it takes to heat the water.

Find tips on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Want to save money on your other bills?

Struggling to pay your water bill?

If you find yourself unable to pay your water bills your first step is to talk to your supplier.

They might be able to work out a repayment scheme that works for you.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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