How to Save on Your Water Bills

July 4, 2023 • Chris Bardsley

How to Save on Your Water Bills

Just because you can’t shop around for another water supplier, doesn’t mean you can’t save money on your bills.

At Fair for You, we’ve put together a few handy hints to help you save and stop feeling like your budget has sprung a leak.

1. Cut bills by switching to a meter

If you live in England or Wales you may be eligible to switch to a water meter. With a water meter you only pay for what you use, so if you have more bedrooms in your home than people you may save money.

In Scotland, water bills are included in a ‘combined service charge’ and Northern Ireland has no domestic water charges.

Check out the free water meter calculator from the Consumer Council for Water and see whether you can save.

2. Get an assessed bill if a water meter is not an option

If your water company can’t fit a meter you still have options. Water companies have to fit a meter on request unless it is too impractical (for instance if you live in flats with shared pipes), but if you feel this doesn’t apply to you, you can appeal the refusal with the regulator Ofwat.

Alternatively, you can ask for an ‘assessed charge bill’. Assessed charges can be based on a few different factors, including the number of bedrooms in your property and the number of people that live in the property. However it varies from company to company.

3. See whether you qualify for a social tariff

If you’re on a low income, you could be eligible for a social tariff. All water companies offer them and could potentially bring down your bill by as much as 90% - whether you have a water meter or not.

You can apply through your water company and they will assess your circumstances and make sure you’re getting the support you need.

4. Get capped bills through WaterSure

Even if you have a water meter you could still get a reduced or capped bill through the WaterSure scheme. It’s available through all water companies.

According to Citizen’s Advice, to be eligible for the WaterSure scheme:

“You must be on benefits and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children.”

Visit the WaterSure section of the Citizen’s Advice website to find out more.

5. If you’re struggling to pay, get help from your supplier

If you’re struggling to pay and you’re not eligible for a social tariff or the WaterSure scheme it’s important to call your supplier and ask for help. Every water company will have measures in place to offer support.

Asking for a repayment plan could make your debt more manageable, and some companies may even wipe some of your debt altogether. The water company will carry out a financial assessment first and foremost and find an option that best suits you.

You may also be able to get a charity grant which could wipe most or all of your debt. However, applications are assessed on a case by case basis, so only those that really need the help will get it.

6. Claim your free water saving gadgets

Households across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can claim a wide range of water saving gadgets absolutely free. They’re funded by the water companies, but Save Water Save Money distributes them.

Gadgets include shower heads to help regulate water usage, shower timers and garden hose nozzles.

7. You could be entitled to a light sewerage rebate

The water meter billing system is fairly simple, and assumes that any water used creates a more or less equal amount of sewerage.

However, if you have a soakaway, pond, large garden, cesspit or septic tank these calculations can be wrong. If this is the case, you could be entitled to money back.

If your water company refuses, get in touch with your local Consumer Council for Water office who should be able to help.

This entry was posted in Finance, Budgeting Tips and Blog
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