With winter set to turn up the heat on households energy usage the Consumer Council for Water has some top money saving tips to help dilute the impact on peoples budgets.
October will be a difficult month for many struggling households in Wales as they pay their latest water bill, while bracing themselves for colder weather and the associated surge in the use of gas and electricity.
But the Consumer Council for Water has some helpful advice for customers which could add up to significant savings on their water bill at a time they need it most.
These include checking out the watchdogs online water meter bill calculator if you pay a fixed price for your water bill, to see whether switching to a meter could save you money.
Since April 2012, the calculator has helped more than 32,000 customers identify potential savings on their water bill totalling £5.9million.
Diane McCrea, chair of the CCWater Wales Committee, said: Many households are struggling to cope with the cost of living and the arrival of colder weather will only add to this pressure.
But by checking out our money saving tips customers may discover there are ways they could be making significant savings on their water bill, including getting extra assistance from their water company.
CCWaters top money saving tips include:
- Consider having a free water meter fitted The majority of customers still pay a fixed price for their water bill. But for some smaller households who use less water or those living alone, having a meter installed could deliver significant savings. In most cases customers can even switch back to fixed charges within the first year if they find they dont make a saving. In cases where a meter cant be fitted companies must offer an alternative fixed charge. Check out CCWaters water meter calculator at www.ccwater.org.uk for a simple way to see if making the switch could save you money.
- Check your bill to make sure you are not paying for a service you dont receive If you have a soakaway, which drains rainwater into the ground, you can apply to have the surface water drainage charges removed from your bill. That can typically save about £47 a year. Customers should also check whether they are connected to the sewer to make sure they are not paying for services they do not receive, typically those with a cesspit or septic tank.
- Do you qualify for the Water Direct Scheme? customers receiving certain income related benefits, who are in arrears, may be able to have a set amount deducted from their benefits paid directly to the water company under the Water Direct Scheme. D?r Cymru Welsh Water will reduce customers bills by £25 when they choose this option.
- Help for those on low incomes customers receiving income related benefits, with either three or more dependent children, or a medical condition that means they need to use more water, are eligible for help, such as from D?r Cymru Welsh Waters Welsh Water Assist scheme, for metered or unmeasured bill customers, and Dee Valley Waters WaterSure scheme for metered customers only.
- Check to see if you qualify for the Customer Assistance Fund D?r Cymru Welsh Waters customers owing £150 or more on their 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.
- Start soaking up ideas to save water if you are a metered water customer there are so many ways to save money on your bill by cutting back on how much water you use. And when you save hot water you cut your energy bill too. CCWaters website features lots of practical tips on saving water and money such as fixing dripping taps, installing water saving devices and collecting rainwater for use in the garden.
For more advice and helpful information visit www.ccwater.org.uk