Gas and electricity providers are constantly giving out tips to help you save money, such as smart meters which are a fantastic way to keep track of your spending.
However, water providers are different, this is because there is less competition for water providers, so they don’t have to constantly convince you to switch to them.
This is because, unlike electricity and gas companies, water can only be supplied by your regional company, so you can’t switch water suppliers.
This doesn’t mean it is impossible to save on water bills.
This article will give you some handy tips on knowing exactly how your water supply works and how to save some money here and there on your bills.
How Are My Water Bills Calculated?
There are two different ways that water bills are calculated, and the one that applies to you normally correlates with the age of your house.
If your house was built after 1990 then your water bills are likely calculated by a water meter.
This is simply a meter that calculates the exact amount of water you use, and you are charged just for this amount.
If your house was built before 1990 then you may not have a water meter, in this case, you are charged a set amount for water and sewage services, regardless of how much water you use.
This amount will be based on your house’s rateable value.
Will A Water Meter Help Me Save Money?
This all depends on how much water you use already. A fixed water bill is normally decided on the property itself; if there are more bedrooms, then the property will pay a higher fixed water bill.
So, if you have a large family and use a lot of water, but the bedrooms are shared and there are more bedrooms than there are people, then a fixed water bill may save you more money.
However, if you live on your own or with your partner, or have more bedrooms in your house than you do people, then the likelihood is that you won’t use as much water as your fixed bill will charge you for.
So you may be able to save some money by having a water meter fitted and having your bills be accurate in relation to the water that you use.
You can get water meters fitted free of charge in your house and a lot of water companies will give you up to two years to try your meter, if you find that you are actually paying more with a water meter, you can simply switch back.
Saving Money Without A Water Meter
If you have opted to not use a water meter, and you have a fixed payment for your water bills, then there isn’t much more you can do to save money.
One thing you can do however is check exactly what you are paying for in your fixed bill.
If your house uses a septic tank and doesn’t connect directly to the sewer system then you will not have to pay any sewerage charges on your water bill.
You can also save money if you have a soak-away in your garden, a soak-away drains all the water off of the surface of your garden and back into the earth.
If you have one of these you can apply for surface water charges to be removed from your bills.
If any of these have applied to you for a long time, and you have a fixed water bill, then you may be eligible for refunds on your water bills.
Tips To Save Water Around The Home
If you have a water meter that calculates the exact amount of water that you use then there are many ways you can save on using water around the home.
These little changes will add up in a big way and could save you a lot of money at the end of the month.
Check For Leaks
If you see an unusual rise in your water bill at the end of the month or notice on your meter that you are using more water than you normally would, this could mean that you have a leak.
If the leak isn’t somewhere where there is an exposed pipe then it could be hard to spot.
Check for patches of dampness around your house or patches of extra greenery outside your house. If you still can’t find anything but notice your water bills are still up you can contact your supplier on what to do next.
Leaking taps can also be a big hitter when it comes to increased water bills. Even if your tap is just dripping every so often, it adds up and can really end up costing you. It could save you money in the long run just to replace the tap.
If you take baths regularly then switching to showers will decrease your water bills massively.
If you still want to save money after making this change then take shorter showers, changing your showing time from 10 minutes to 4 minutes can save you more than 300 litres of water each week.
You could also look at installing a water-saving shower head to cut the amount of water you use.
A water-saving shower head can cut around 30% of the water used in each shower.
Dishwashers And Washing Machines
You will save a good amount of water if you make sure that when you put on a dishwasher or a washing machine, you fill them up to capacity.
These machines use a great deal of water, so only using them when you have a full load can save you one or two washes for every cycle.
You can also save water by reusing the glasses and mugs that you use throughout the day.
If you’re having frequent cups of tea or frequent glasses of water, why not use one glass and one mug a day, only washing them at the end of the day.
When you are cooking your meals, try to use as little utensils and pots and pans as you possibly can, the less you use, the less you have to wash up and the more water you save.
This could be done by boiling multiple types of vegetables in one pot or reusing a pan. When washing fruits and vegetables you should also fill a bowl and wash them in there instead of washing them under running water.
The first step to saving money around your home from your water bill is finding out exactly how your water bills are being paid.
If you are paying a fixed water bill then it can be harder to save money than with a water meter. However, if you have a large family then a fixed water bill may be more beneficial to you than a water meter.
If you have a meter then the biggest tip to saving money is to run taps less.
Other than that, taking showers instead of baths can be a great step, and if you see a slight increase in your water bill, you could have a leak that needs fixing.