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Save on water bills

Unlike gas and electricity companies, you can only be supplied by your regional water company. So you can't switch suppliers, but there are ways to reduce your bills.

How are my water bills calculated?

  • If you don’t have a water meter: You will be charged a set amount for water and sewage services, regardless of how much water you actually use. This amount is based on your home’s rateable value.
  • If you have a water meter: You’ll be charged for the actual units of water you use. All properties built since 1990 have a water meter installed.

How can I reduce my water bills?

Here are some simple things you can do to reduce your water usage and therefore the cost of your water bills:

  • Fix dripping taps or leaks – they can waste the equivalent of half a bath a week.
  • Take showers instead of baths - A short shower can use a third of the amount of water needed for a bath.
  • Don’t leave the tap running while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Use a washing up bowl to do the dishes, rather than rinsing every plate and cup under the tap. 
  • Wash vegetables in a bowl rather than under running water.
  • Use a watering can in the garden rather than a hosepipe.
  • Fit a device in your toilet cistern to minimise the water used in flushing. It can save up to 3 litres of water with every flush. Ask your water company if it supplies them free of charge.

Don’t use your washing machine or dishwasher on half-load programmes. A full load uses less water than 2 half loads.

Am I eligible for any discounts off my water bills?

Water companies offer a variety of discount schemes for certain customers.

Most water companies have a social tariff scheme for customers on low incomes or who are receiving certain benefits.

If you have a water meter and you receive certain benefits (e.g. Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance), you may be eligible for the WaterSure scheme

If you are on the WaterSure scheme, your bill is capped at a lower amount, regardless of how much water you use.

How could the Priority Services Register help me?

The Priority Services Register is a free service provided by utility suppliers to help older and vulnerable customers. 

Examples of the assistance you could get include large print bills, water deliveries in emergencies, and telephone notification of an interruption to your supply.

Contact your water supplier to get added to their register.

Should I get a water meter?

Water meters are devices that measure the exact amount of water you use in your home. Water suppliers use this measurement to calculate water bills so you are only charged for the amount of water you actually use.

A water meter could save you money if:

  • you live alone
  • you live in a home with a high rateable value
  • you use very little water

You can ask you water company to fit a water meter for free. The water company can refuse if it thinks that installing one isn’t practical or is too expensive. If you’re a tenant, you may need permission from your landlord first.

Can I switch to another water supplier?

Unlike gas and electricity industries, the water industry isn’t deregulated so you can only use your regional water company.

What should I do next?

Save money

Find ways to save money on your water bills using the Water Meter Calculator

For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602.
We’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

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Last updated: Apr 20 2021

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