How to cut your water bill
Being careful with water may make you green, but unless you're on a water meter it won't save you a penny.
Saving money on your water bills isn't as straightforward as cutting your energy bills as you can't shop around for the cheapest deal, but that doesn't mean you can't cut costs.
Most people pay for the water based on the ‘rateable value' of their property. Bills are set by your local water company and will vary according to the size of your home and the challenges of supply in your area. Your bill doesn't just pay for water in the taps it also covers sewerage services, in some areas these will be managed by a separate company so you pay two bills.
By paying for your water in this way you pay the same however much water you use. This can be frustrating if you've ditched the sprinkler for the watering can as you essentially end up subsidising your more wasteful neighbours.
The only way to avoid this is to have a water meter installed so you only pay for the water you use. This can slash your bill if you use less than the typical inhabitants of your property, say for example you're kids have moved out but you still live in a family home.
Some households may still be able to benefit from water meters even if their water consumption is high. If you have a medical condition that requires you to use more water, or you are in receipt of benefits and have three children under the age of 19, you can apply to cap your bills under the WaterSure scheme.
Online water calculators can help you work out whether or not a water meter would save you money. Simply enter your current bill and answer questions about your water consumption and it will work out your potential savings.
But even if you'll save now, look to the future before making the switch. If your bills go up you can change your mind, but only within the first 12 months. So if you plan to have a larger family – for example- you could end up stuck with bigger bills further down the line.
However if you think you can save now and in years to come it may well be worth making the switch – especially if it makes you think twice before running the tap.