With the average water bill in the UK rising by £8 a year in 2019, you may be looking for ways to reduce your water bill. Many people also have environmental concerns about water usage. So, for the good of the natural world and your wallet, what can you do to cut water bills? This guide contains some helpful information on how to reduce water bills and save some money.
Check for Faults or Leaks
If your water bill is suddenly much higher than usual, then this could be due to a problem with your meter, plumbing, or appliances. It is important to find this and fix it before you continue paying for wasted water. First of all, make sure that your stop tap is working. It is usually under the kitchen sink. Turn it off and check if your kitchen taps stop working, then turn it back on again and make sure that the same flow resumes. Next, you should check your water meter. This is usually outside but will sometimes be inside close to the stop tap.
You might have to carefully remove a lid and cover to see the meter face. Make sure that the serial number on the meter matches the one on your bill. There may be water in the meter chamber, which is normal if there has been heavy rain. If there hasn’t, then this could be a sign of a leak. You should take a reading from the meter using the numbers. The black and white numbers display how many cubic metres of water you have used. The red and white numbers show the amount of water you have used in litres. Take a reading before going to bed and then another one in the morning to monitor water usage overnight. This should be quite low, so if the difference is larger than 10 litres then there will be a problem somewhere.
Make sure that nobody is using any water inside the property, then monitor the water meter. If the dials are moving, you should take a reading and then wait around 12 minutes before taking another reading. If the spinner is moving and the numbers are changing when water is not being used in the property, then there is a leak. Unfortunately, this means that you are going to have to call a plumber at your own expense. You are responsible for the pipes on your property, so you will have to pay for repairing them. However, once they are fixed, your water bills should go back to normal. Alternatively, if your water bill increases, it could be due to more people being in your home or using new appliances. It may be simple to adjust this.
Check for Discounts and Rebates
Water companies also charge for the removal and treatment of sewerage. They assume that what comes out must go back in, so that sewerage is equivalent to clean water use. That isn’t always the case, though. If you live in a village or small town, you might have a soakaway. This is an underground gravel pit which collects runoff water. You should get in touch with your water company to claim a light sewerage rebate if your surface water does not go into the mains sewers. This also applies if you have a pond, swimming pool, or large garden which uses a lot of water from the outside tap. However, you will have to prove that the water did not go back into the drains. If you have a septic tank or cesspit instead of being connected to mains sewerage, then you should definitely not be paying sewerage charges. You can contact the Consumer Council for Water for help if your water company refuses to give you a rebate.
Swap to a Water Meter
You can’t switch water companies the way you could to reduce your energy bill. However, you can switch the way that your water company bills you. Many people are still paying a fixed bill based on rateable value, or the size of their home. All newer properties have water meters to bill customers according to their actual usage instead. If you don’t have a water meter, it may be worth getting one. The general rule is that if there are the same number of people living there as bedrooms, or if there are more bedrooms than people, then it could be cheaper to swap to metered billing. You can find out more about how getting a water meter works and how much money you could save by reading this guide on water meters. You might be able to get an “assessed charge” instead if your water company is unable to install a water meter.
Start Saving Water
If you already have a water meter, then you need to make sure that everyone in your home is using water responsibly. There are lots of adjustments to daily habits that everyone can do to save water and therefore money off their water bills. To aid you in these, you can also usually order free water-saving products from your water company. This includes shower heads, tap inserts, and toilet cistern bags to improve water efficiency. Check out Save Water Save Money to find out which products you can get from your water company. They will deliver them for free within 28 days. You could save up to £100 a year using these gadgets. You might have to contact your water company directly to find out what they can give you if they are not online.
As mentioned, there are plenty of tips to help you cut back on water use, which will, in turn, reduce your water bill. Get everyone in the home to do these things until it becomes second nature and you will be saving money in no time. Here is some guidance for using less water:
Take quick showers instead of baths.
Fill up your washing machine before you do laundry.
Save all of your washing up and do it in one go.
Use a basin in the sink as well.
Only use as much water as you need when filling the kettle or cooking food (this will save electricity too!).
Steam vegetables instead of boiling them.
Keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap waiting for it to get cold enough for your drink.
Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.
Check for leaky taps and fix them.
Clean your car only when it is necessary.
Get a water butt to collect rainwater in your garden, which you can use to water plants.
Use a watering can instead of a hosepipe or sprinkler system.