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It stands to reason that if you use less water, your water bills will go down, but it can be easier said than done. Water bills are expected to rise across most suppliers in April 2018 and unlike other utility suppliers, you don’t get a choice of who you use, to get the best deal.
We thought we’d take a look at how you can reduce your bills…
There are a range of freebie gadgets that your water company can send you if you ask for them. These include a flowpoint round shower head or shower regulator which results in less water usage when you are taking a shower. They estimate you use 8 litres per minute rather than 15 litres. You can also get a 4 minute shower timer – perfect if you have a teenager or shower hogger in your household! You could get a cistern bag, which saves 1.2 litres of water with every wash and tap regulators to regulate water to 5 litres per minute rather than the average of 10 litres. What you can apply for depends on your water supplier, but if you go to the website Save Water Save Money www.savewatersavemoney.co.uk/ and enter your postcode, you can see what you will get and arrange to get it sent to you.
There are some other simple tips to save water. Try taking showers instead of baths – save them for special occasions. Turn off the tap when you are brushing teeth or shaving. Use washing up bowls in the sink rather than running the hot tap. In fact, if you have a dishwasher, use it, but only when it’s completely full. Contrary to popular belief, it’s cheaper to run the dishwasher than to wash up by hand. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that if a family of four switched one bath a week with a 5 min shower, they could cut their annual gas bill by £25 per year and annual water bill by £15 per year (assuming they have a water meter). If they used a washing up bowl twice a day instead of washing with the hot tap, they could save £25 a year on gas and £30 a year on water. It soon starts to add up.
Make sure you save your grey water from baths / washing up to use on the garden in the summer months. And buy a couple of large barrels that you can install in the garden to collect rainwater, rather than using fresh water from the hosepipe on your plants. You can also use fish tank water on your plants – it’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorous.
If you have a water meter, you can be sure you are only paying for what you use, rather than paying according to the size of your property (which may or may not work in your favour). You can check out whether it’s worth switching over to a water meter on the free water meter calculator site: www.ccwater.org.uk/watermetercalculator/ . Remember, if you have a meter installed and it works out more expensive, you can always get it removed within two years.
If you are on certain benefits like child tax credit, house benefit, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income support, pension credit, working tax credit or universal credit, or you have a water meter, you may be entitled to a cheaper tariff – make sure you ask your water company. You may also be entitled to a cheaper tariff if you suffer from certain medical conditions that require you to have higher supplies of water, like Crohn’s disease, Abdominal stoma or Eczema.
If you have a soakaway, swimming pool or cesspit/septic tank, you could be entitled to a light sewerage rebate. Soakaways are large underground gravel pits that collect water from a roof or drive. Your property deeds or local authority will know if you have one on your property. Water companies should give rebates to those whose surface rainwater goes into a soakaway or straight into a river or canal, rather than the mains sewers. This can be up to £59/year. Give your water company a call and they can give you a form to complete. If you use lots of water from an outside tap, you can also ask for a reduction in your bill because you shouldn’t have to pay the sewerage charge if you haven’t poured water down the drain. You have to prove it though. If you are filling a pond or pool as a one off, it’s worth contacting them. If you have a cesspit or septic tank and no connection to mains sewerage, you shouldn’t be paying any sewerage charges.
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