Save money on your water bills

If you live in Service accommodation you pay for your water through the accommodation charge, so you pay a set amount no matter how much water you use.

If you have your own home, being MoneyFit with your water bill is very straightforward. You don’t have a lot of options – it isn’t possible to switch water suppliers – so there are only a couple of things to check.

Water use is not charged in Northern Ireland.

Slashing your water bill

There are a few ways you can reduce your water bill - we’ve listed some of the best here.

  • Change the way you pay for water. Do you have a water meter, or do you pay a fixed price every year? Depending on your household one method might be cheaper than the other. More on this below.
  • Pick up some free water-saving gadgets. If you’re looking to save water, there are free gadgets available to help you save. Check the Thames Water website, or SaveWaterSaveMoney and enter your postcode to see what you’re entitled to.
  • Don’t waste water. Take a quick shower instead of a bath, turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth, fix leaking taps… There are plenty of options when it comes to cutting your water consumption. You can find more tips on the Energy Saving Trust website.

    Money fitness tip

    Get some free water-saving gadgets from SaveWaterSaveMoney.

Is it worth switching to a water meter?

Step one - work out how you're paying

There are two ways you can pay your water bill:

  • You pay a set price per year. This is called rateable billing. How much you pay depends on your home – you can read more on the United Utilities website.
  • You have a water meter. This means you pay for the water you use.

If you’re not sure how you pay, take a look at your bill.

Step two - work out if it's worth switching

If you’re on rateable billing, you can choose to get a water meter instead. This can be cheaper, but it isn’t always. To see if it’s right for you, use a water usage calculator.

You can use the calculator on the Consumer Council for Water website. You'll just need to estimate a few details about your water use – like how often you flush the loo – and it’ll show how much you could save compared to your current rateable bill.

If your water use changes – perhaps when the kids leave home – you might want to try the calculator again.

Can't get a water meter?

If you water supplier can't provide you with a water meter, they are obliged to offer you an alternative to compensate. This alternative is called an Assessed Charge.

Tips for using less water

Once you have a water meter, depending on your supplier you may not be able to switch back to rateable billing, even if you think it would be cheaper. 

In that case, you can save a lot by reducing your water use. And, as an added bonus, you’ll save on the oil, gas or electricity it takes to heat the water.

Struggling to pay your water bill?

If you find yourself unable to pay your water bills your first step is to talk to your supplier. They might be able to work out a repayment scheme that works for you.

Find out more on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

Last reviewed: 12/10/2018

This content has been provided by the Money Advice Service