New water bill: can you beat the increase?

Due to current high inflation, water customers can expect to see an average increase of £20 on annual water bills as they drop onto doormats across England and Wales.

Dame Yve Buckland, Chair of CCWater said: “It has never been more important for customers to get value for money from their water companies. By taking some time to consider our money saving tips and checking their bills, customers can ensure they are not missing out on any savings.”

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has some advice that could help some customers beat the increase.

For those not on a meter Most customers still pay a fixed price for their water; however for those who live alone or don’t use much water, a meter may lead to immediate savings. Single people paying an average unmetered bill could save more than £100. Where practical, meters are fitted free of charge and there’s the option to switch back within a year if you change your mind, or don’t make the savings you were expecting. If the company find a meter can’t be fitted at your property it must offer to switch you to an alternative assessed charge instead.

www.ccwater.org.uk has a water meter bill calculator to help you work out whether you could save by opting for a meter.

Water saving tips CCWater’s website also provides lots of practical advice on great ways to be more water efficient and, for those who are metered, to save money by fixing dripping taps, installing water saving devices, and collecting rainwater for use in the garden.

Ask your company for help Dame Yve added: “We urge anyone struggling to pay their water bill to contact their water company; they may offer help with special payment arrangements or, in some cases, reduced rates and assistance schemes.”

WaterSure is one such scheme. Customers receiving income related benefits, who have a meter and either three or more dependant children, or a medical condition that means they need to use more water, are eligible for help under the scheme. A low income household of five with a water meter could be spending over £700 per year on water but might make a potential annual saving of over £300 with WaterSure.

Are you paying for additional services? CCWater also recommends that people check their bill to make sure they’re not paying for services they don’t get. If you have a soakaway, which drains rainwater into the ground, you can apply to have the surface water drainage charges removed – this could typically save around £35 a year. Customers who have a septic tank instead of a connection to the sewerage system should not be paying any sewerage charges, saving an average of £195.

For more advice and information visit www.ccwater.org.uk.

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