How to save on your water bill as the typical rate rises to £473

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The average household water bill will rise by 6 per cent from April, or £27 a year.

Trade body Water UK said today the increase means the typical annual water and sewerage bill will rise to £473.

The industry has defended the hikes by saying water companies need to improve their infrastructure following public backlash against water shortages and cases of sewage pumped into rivers.

But news of the bill increase sparked an outcry from the Water Consumers Council.

Sharp rise: Typical water bill rises by £27 this year to £473, after rising since 2020/21

Sharp rise: Typical water bill rises by £27 this year to £473, after rising since 2020/21

Mike Keil, CCW chief executive, said: “Nearly a fifth of households report struggling to pay their water bill, and these increases will put even greater pressure on low-income customers.

“If water companies really want to restore confidence in the sector, they should use some of their profits to help people who cannot afford another increase in their bill.”

Here are some of the main ways to save money on your water bill, from buying a water meter to checking your eligibility for a cheaper social tariff.

How to Save Money on Water

Consider a water meter

Around 40 per cent of households in England and Wales do not have a water meter, and some of these would save money on their water bills by installing one.

Not everyone will save money with a meter, but water companies will usually give you two years to try one and allow you to go back if you’re not satisfied.

Water companies are not required to agree to install a water meter, for example if it is costly or counterproductive, such as if several residences share water pipes.

On the other hand, in other regions, it is compulsory to have one if the water company requests it.

THE CCW has a calculator This helps you understand if a water meter could save you money.

However, the general rule is that a water bill can reduce your bills if you live in a property with a high “assessed value” (used to establish estimated water bills), if you don’t use a lot of water. water and/or if you live alone.

Now: Water meters can save you money, but they can also cost you more

Now: Water meters can save you money, but they can also cost you more

Use less water if you can

If you have a water meter, using less water means paying lower bills.

Water bills for homes equipped with these meters consist of costs for water consumed, as well as fixed daily charges.

But using less water also means lower energy bills, because much of the water used by households is first heated.

The CCW figures show that IIf each person in a family of four reduced their daily shower time by two minutes, they could save around £280 a year in combined water and energy costs.

Fix leaks

Likewise, fixing leaks as soon as possible can save you money on your water bills – if you have a meter.

The signs of a water leak are obvious: dripping, moisture, change in color of walls, floors and ceilings, mold and musty smell.

But some water leaks can be harder to spot. For example, damp areas or greener spots in your yard may indicate a water leak from an underground pipe.

Likewise, low boiler pressure can indicate a leak in your hot water system.

Check if you are eligible for a social rate

Each water company in England and Wales has its own social tariff system designed to help customers on low incomes.

But who is eligible and the level of support offered varies wildly from company to company. In some cases, bills can be reduced by up to 90 percent.

What future for water bills?

Water companies are considering further price increases over the next five years.

Households may soon have to pay up to 44 percent more for watersome paying almost £200 more per year.

Proposed bill increases over the next five years will fund £96bn of improvements to the UK’s water network, including building 10 new reservoirs and reducing leaky pipes by 25 per cent .

Water companies outlined their five-year investment plans in documents filed with water regulator Ofwat in October 2023.

CCW has a list of social rates and criteria on its website.

For example, Thames Water’s social tariff is called Water Help.

It reduces water bills by 50 per cent for households with a household income below £17,005, or £21,749 in London, excluding disability benefits.

But nearly two million households – or 15 percent – are eligible for social water tariffs but have not signed up, according to the CCW.

Five water companies use their own profits to offer cheaper rates.

These are Welsh Water, Severn Trent, Yorkshire Water, SES Water and United Utilities.

Consider the WaterSure program

WaterSure is a government scheme run by water companies to reduce bills for eligible households in England and Wales.

To qualify, a household must receive certain benefits, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

Most of the benefits on the list are for people with low incomes.

A household adhering to WaterSure will also need large quantities of water, either for medical reasons or because they have many young children.

Another criterion is either having a water meter installed or being on a waiting list to get one.

WaterSure offers discounts on the water and sanitation portions of a water bill.

To apply, you will need to complete a form with your water company and will likely need to prove that you are in receipt of benefits and have a qualifying health condition.

Consider water-saving gadgets

Many water and money saving devices are distributed free of charge by water companiesalthough it depends on where you live.

These widgets include water saving shower heads, water butts, etc.

To find out what you can get, enter your zip code in the field Save water, save money website.

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