Households across Wales are being urged by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) not to overlook ways to save money on their water bills and dilute the impact of higher inflation.
The water watchdog is encouraging customers to soak up its advice as it responds to today’s announcement that the average water and sewerage bill for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water customers will rise by just under 2 per cent to around £439 – an increase of £8.
Dee Valley Water’s average water bill will rise by about 4 per cent to £157 from April 2017. It means that the average water and sewerage bill for their customers – based on Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s sewerage charges – will be £413.
The increases have been largely driven by inflation which is at a six-year high1.
The figures show average bills but what customers actually end up paying will vary depending on their individual circumstances. Some customers will see increases that might be more or less than average for their water company.
Water is just one of a number of household bills that is on the rise – but it is often the utility that customers overlook when it comes to saving money.
Tom Taylor, Wales Chair for CCWater said: “Even the smallest increase in water bills can be a tipping point for customers already feeling the pinch. That’s why we are very pleased to see Welsh Water investing more in supporting households that are on a low income.”
“Water companies in Wales now have a range of schemes that can ease the pressure on customers that are already struggling to pay. But for some of us, simply switching to a water meter can be the most effective way to save money.”
About 1 in 8 households in Wales find their water bills unaffordable, according to research by CCWater. That’s why the watchdog has spearheaded efforts to raise awareness of suppliers’ social tariff schemes that can substantially reduce the bills of eligible low-income customers. You can find a guide to these schemes on the CCWater website at www.ccwater.org.uk/households/help-with-my-bills/
For some people switching from unmeasured charges to a water meter is the best way to slash their bills and customers now have two years to trial one and switch back for free if they are worse off or unhappy with it.
CCWater has an online water meter calculator where customers can quickly check to see if they might be better off switching to a meter. Since April 2017 it has helped thousands of customers identify potential annual savings totalling more than £8 million.
The calculator is available at www.ccwater.org.uk/watermetercalculator/
Customers can also take advantage of water-saving freebies offered by their water company, which can help them save money – as well as water – if they pay metered charges.
Take a look at how your water company compares to others on price and service at www.discoverwater.co.uk
For more information call the media on 0121 345 1005
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1 The Office for National Statistics previously announced the retail price index (RPI) for November 2017 had risen to 3.9 per cent. This figure was used in the calculation of bills for 2018/19.