Now is the time to prevent rising water bills from making an April Fool of your finances, according to the Water Watchdog.
With the average water and sewerage bill in England and Wales set to rise by £9 to £405 from 1 April1, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is sharing its top money-saving tips to help customers dilute the impact.
Water is just one of a number of household bills on the rise, due largely to higher inflation. That’s no laughing matter for cash-strapped customers which is why CCWater is urging households that are feeling the pinch to soak up its advice.
Andy White, CCWater’s Charges Expert, said: “April bill rises can stretch some household budgets to breaking point, which is why it’s so important to seize every opportunity to save money.”
“Whether it’s trialling the benefits of a water meter, taking advantage of free water-saving devices or checking to see if you’re eligible for a cut-price tariff, we’ve got plenty of ideas on how to reduce your bills.”
CCWater’s top money-saving tips:
- Trial a meter – For many households the most effective way to cut their water bills is to opt to have a water meter installed free of charge. If your property has more bedrooms than people living in it there’s a good chance you might save money on a meter. It won’t benefit everyone, but some people can save more than £100 a year. In most cases you’ll also have up to two years to switch back to unmeasured charges if you change your mind2. Our water meter calculator can help you work out how much you might save.
- Apply for a lower tariff – Every water company now offers a reduced social tariff for eligible low-income customers. Some of these tariffs can slash bills by as much as 90 per cent. Find out if you’re likely to qualify for help and how to apply by using CCWater’s social tariff guide.
- Fish for some freebies – Most water companies will offer you free devices that can help you reduce the water you use – ideal for saving money if you’re a metered customer. Check your water company’s website for more details.
- Soak-away savings – If you have a soak-away in your garden, which drains all the surface water from your property back into the earth, you can apply to have surface water drainage charges removed from your bills. This can often be a saving of more than £50 a year. You might also be eligible for a refund of some charges you’ve already paid.
- Sign up to WaterSure – if you’re already a metered customer but have high usage due to a large family or medical condition, and also receive income-related benefits, the WaterSure scheme could help. It limits the amount you’re charged and is available in England and Wales.
- Use our Benefits Calculator – Check to see if you are missing out on a much-needed income boost by using the Benefits Calculator and Grants Search Tool on our website. Since partnering with poverty relief charity Turn2Us to launch the tools in January 2016, consumers have identified annual welfare benefit entitlements of more than £14 million.
Visit www.ccwater.org.uk for more water and money-saving tips.
For more information or to arrange an interview with CCWater’s Andy White, please call the media team on 0121 345 1005.
1 Average bills vary across England and Wales and what customers actually end up paying will depend on each customer’s individual circumstances. You can compare average annual bills for each water company at Discover Water
2 Some water companies in the South East of England are rolling out universal metering programmes. Customers of these companies do not have the option to switch back to unmeasured charges. Always check with your water company before switching.
Notes for editors
Consumer Council for Water – the Water Watchdog
Securing the best outcomes for all water consumers – present and future.
We are the independent, statutory body that represents all water and sewerage consumers across England and Wales. Our work includes providing advice and information on water matters and investigating complaints if water customers have tried and failed to resolve issues with their water companies and retailers.
Since we were established in 2005 we have supported consumers with more than 380,000 complaints and enquiries and helped to return more than £27 million in financial redress to aggrieved household and business customers.
We provide a strong and influential voice for consumers by keeping a close eye on and scrutinising the performance of water companies, retailers and the regulator Ofwat. Our research, expertise and insights also help us to ensure the views and interests of consumers remain at the heart of the industry’s price-setting process.