While many of us might be feeling a few kilos heavier after Christmas there’s a good chance your wallet feels considerably lighter. The festivities can often leave us nursing a financial hangover which makes the New Year the ideal time to look at ways to save money.
Soaking up savings on your water bills is a good place to start and we’ve got plenty of great ideas to help you trim a few pounds off the bottom line.
Test the water with a meter
Almost half of us still pay for our water based on the old rateable value of our home, rather than how much we actually use. One way you may be able to cut your bills is to switch to a meter, which can be installed free of charge. If you’ve got fewer people living in your property than actual bedrooms there’s a good chance you’ll be better off.
Our popular water meter calculator allows you to check whether you might be better off making the switch – and in some cases, like Severn Trent customer Eddie Clarke from Worcester, the savings can be eye-watering.
Mr Clarke said: “I decided to take the plunge after CCWater’s calculator suggested we could make a considerable saving – but I never expected to save £1,400 in 4 years since switching to a meter. I just wish I had done it earlier.”
It’s worth remembering that most water companies will give you up to two years to trial a meter and switch back if you’re unhappy – ask your supplier for more information.
Fish for some water-saving freebies
Already a metered customer? Take more control of your bills by finding simple ways to use water wisely. If you’re not sure where to start, speak to your water company about the free water-saving devices it can offer. From shower timers to little gadgets that can help you save when you flush the toilet, there are lots of great freebies to take advantage of – visit your water company’s website for more information.
Switch to a lower tariff
About 1 in 8 households tell us they struggle to afford their water bills and that’s often because they are on a low income. Water companies have schemes called social tariffs that are specifically designed to help low-income customers. These can reduce someone’s bill by as much as 90 per cent, in some cases, so it’s worth dipping into our guide to see if you might be eligible
There’s also a scheme called WaterSure which can help cap the bills of metered customers that receive certain income-related benefits and use a lot of water, due to having a large family or specific medical condition.
Make sure you’re not paying for a service you don’t use
Many of us feel we don’t have the time to inspect our bills but it’s always worth taking a closer look just to make sure you’re not paying over the odds. If you’ve got a soak-away which drains away all of the rainwater from your property, make sure you’re not paying surface water drainage charges. These should be removed from your bill and will save you about £35 a year. You could also be entitled to a rebate on some of the previous charges you’ve paid.
If you have a septic tank, instead of a connection to the sewerage system, you shouldn’t be paying any sewerage charges.
Contact your water company if you think you’re paying for a service you don’t use.