Eight ways to cut your water bill

Updated on 14 March 2011 | 82 Comments

Water bills are set to stretch your household finances even further, depending on where you live. Here's how to beat the price hikes.

The average water bill is set to go up again this year, with some areas seeing hikes up of up to 3.5%.

And I'm afraid that doesn't tell the whole story. As always, it's a water rate postcode lottery, with households served by Northumbrian Water set to be hit the hardest this year, while lucky United Utilities customers will see a 4.3% bill reduction in their bills.

On average, however, most unmetered bills will now be £361 a year. That's a lot of money down the drain!

Unfortunately, the current system means you are obliged to stay with your current, local supplier - you cannot switch and save the way you can with your energy bills.

Still, there are ways to save. If you're looking for ways to cut your water bill, then here are my top eight tips:

1. Have a water meter installed

To save money on your water bill you will need to have a water meter fitted first. A non-metered supply is subject to fixed costs regardless of how much -- or indeed, how little -- water you use. By fitting a water meter you will only pay for the water you actually use, which means you will probably be more conscious of the amount of water you’re getting through, helping to keep your bill down too.

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Many people find they are better off with a water meter. What’s more, the meter should be installed free of charge and if you change your mind, you can go back to a non-metered supply (as long as you do so within the period specified by the water company. Typically this could be 12 or 18 months).

However, water meters are not always a good idea. Read The smart way to cut your water bill to find out whether a water meter really would save you money.

2. Fix leaks

Dripping taps and leaking pipes and appliances really are money down the drain. You would be amazed how much water is wasted just by letting a tap drip all day long.

3. Energy-efficient white goods

Don’t run your washing machine or dishwasher half full. When you need to buy new white goods go for energy-efficient appliances that use the least amount of water. If you’re not sure, check with the manufacturer before you buy.

4. Don’t run taps when you don’t need to

Don’t leave the tap running constantly while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. Turn the tap off so you only use what you need. Not doing so could waste ten litres of water alone. And the same goes for washing-up. Use a bowl of water rather than running the tap.

5. Use a water hippo

Older style water cisterns -- those installed before 1993 -- use around 9 to 12 litres for flushing. Put in an easy to fit water hippo -- or other similar device -- and instantly reduce the amount of water you use.

6. Take a shower instead of a bath

A quick shower should use far less water than a bath. But be careful if you have a power shower because it can use more water in five minutes than it takes to fill your bath.

7. Use a sponge to wash your car

Using a hosepipe could easily waste around 90 litres of water in just ten minutes. Using a bucket and sponge to wash your car is far more water-efficient.

8. Keep cool drinking water in the fridge

Store water you plan to drink in the fridge rather than running the tap to get it cold.

Tell us your tips

Got any tips of your own? Please post them using the comments box below!

This article was updated in April 2010 using the latest statistics.

More: Cut Your Energy Bills By 75% | Keep your gas and electricity bills down by comparing suppliers at The Fool


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