New water bill: can you beat the increase?

Due to the current high levels of inflation, water customers across Wales can expect an average increase of around £16 on last year’s annual water bills.

Diane McCrea, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Wales Committee 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 can often save more than £100. Meters can normally be fitted free of charge and there’s usually 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.co.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 such as fixing dripping taps, installing water saving devices, and collecting rainwater for use in the garden.

Ask your company for help Diane McCrea added: “We urge anyone struggling to pay their water bill to contact their water company: they can usually help with special payments arrangements or, in some cases, reduced rates and assistance schemes.”

D?r Cymru’s Welsh Water Assist is one such scheme. Customers receiving income related benefits, with 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. Dee Valley Water offers a similar scheme, called WaterSure, for metered customers only.

Under the Water Direct Scheme, customers receiving certain income related benefits and in arrears may be able to have a set amount deducted from their benefits and paid directly to the water company.  D?r Cymru’s Welsh Water’s will reduce customers’ bills by £25 when they choose this option.

D?r Cymru Welsh Water’s customers owing £150 or more on water bills could be eligible for the Customer Assistance Fund. Under the scheme, if a customer in debt makes regular payments towards their current charges, the company could reduce or even clear their debt.

Are you paying for water services you do not use? 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 £47 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 £249.

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

Categories: Press Releases, Regions, Wales