Never mind ghouls, ghosts and vampires – sometimes opening up your latest water bill can be enough to give you a fright, especially when you’re struggling to make ends meet.
Fortunately, our money saving expert Andy White has a few tricks up his sleeve to help take the fear factor out of water bills and free up some money for you to enjoy a Halloween treat.
TRICK 1 – when it comes to slashing water bills one of the most effective steps many households can take is to have a water meter installed free of charge. Some customers find they can save more than £100 a year and there’s usually an option to switch back to unmeasured charges within the first year – or in some cases longer – if you change your mind. It won’t benefit everyone but as a rule of thumb if your home has more bedrooms than people living it it’s definitely worth using our popular water meter calculator to see how much you might save.
TRICK 2 – if you’re already on a water meter but have high usage needs due to a large family or medical condition, and you also receive income-related benefits, then the WaterSure scheme could be for you. The scheme puts a cap on the amount you are charged each year.
TRICK 3 – trying to survive on a low income can make utility bills even scarier, but thankfully most water companies in England and Wales have schemes designed specifically to help you. These so-called ‘social tariffs’ can cut the bills of low-income households by as much as 80 per cent in some cases, depending on your circumstances. Take a look at our guide to social tariffs to see whether you might be eligible for help from your water company
TRICK 4 – if you’re among the increasing number of households who already have a meter installed then using water more efficiently can bring a steady trickle of savings. Saving water is easier than you might think – take a look at our advice on saving water and money. Water companies are also really keen for you to help them ease the growing pressure on our water resources and many now offer some great water-saving freebies. But even if you’re not on a meter, taking care over how much hot water you use can help to shave pounds of your energy bills. This blog has some great tips to help you to start saving.
TRICK 5 – it’s always worth taking a close look at your water bills to make sure you’re not paying for a service you don’t receive. If you have a soak-away, which drains rainwater into the ground, you can apply to have the surface water drainage charges removed from your bills. This could typically save you around £35 a year. Customers who have a septic tank instead of a connection to the sewerage system shouldn’t be paying any sewerage charges. Contact your water company if you think you might be paying for a service you don’t receive.