What does the average household water bill cost a year?


Updated on 02 February 2017 | 20 Comments

We look at exactly what the average bill costs and if there’s anything you can do to reduce yours.

Water bills will rise by an average of 2% across England and Wales this April, according to Water UK.

This increase will add an extra £6 to the average annual household bill pushing the cost of combined water and sewerage services to £395 a year.

The extra cash will go towards a £44 billion investment in services and environmental improvements.

The tables below highlight how the average household water bill will change from April.

Water-only companies

The average water-only bill for England and Wales will be £185 from 2017/18, but you may pay more or less depending on your supplier.

Supplier

Average water bill 2017/18

Change from 2016/17

Affinity Water Central region

£174

£0

Affinity Water East region

£176

£2

Affinity Water South East region

£204

£2

Anglian

£185 £2

Bournemouth

£138 -£7

Bristol

£177

£6

Cambridge

£132

£1

Dee Valley

£150

£3

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

£182 £0

Essex and Suffolk

£245 £4

Northumbrian 

£178

£3

Portsmouth

£100

£2

Severn Trent

£175 £3

South East

£206 £8

South Staffordshire

£144

£1

South West

£216 -£5

Southern

£152 £4

Sutton & East Surrey

£188

£0

Thames

£199 £2

United Utilities

£200 £0

Wessex

£240 £5

Yorkshire

£165 £3

Water and sewerage companies

The average combined water and sewerage bill will cost £395 a year from 2017/18, but again you may pay more or less depending on your supplier.

Supplier

Average combined bill 2017/18

Change from 2016/17

Anglian

£419

£6

Dwr Cymru

£439

£2

Northumbrian

£390

£11

Severn Trent

£341

£13

South West*

£491

-£6

Southern

£418

£6

Thames

£374

£2

United Utilities

£419

£8

Wessex

£470

£8

Yorkshire

£373

£7

*South West Water customers benefit from a Government contribution which reduces their bills by £50 per year.

How is the average water bill calculated?

Your water usage may not actually have much correlation with your water bill.

That’s certainly the case if you don’t have a water meter. In this instance, your bill will be made up of a fixed charge (which covers things like admin) and a charge based on the ‘rateable value’ of your home. This is the local authority’s assessment of the rental value of your property.

Unfortunately, this rating took place between 1973 and 1990, so it’s not exactly up to date.

You can’t appeal if you think the rateable value is too high either. Your bill is out of your hands and completely unrelated to your actual water use. Good news if you use a lot of it, not so good if you don’t.

In which case, you might want to switch to a metered bill. This means your bill will be made up of a fixed charge and a volumetric charge, covering your exact use. Whether this means your bill goes down or up really is then down to you.

To see if a water meter might save you some cash, try your provider's water meter calculator. 

Switching to a water meter doesn’t have to be a permanent move either. You can switch back to unmetered bills within the first 12 months, so why not give it a try? If your bills go up, just switch back!

Can I cut my water bill?

If you are on a water meter, then there are things you can do to reduce your bills.

Simple steps like taking a shower rather than a bath, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth and fixing leaky taps can all make a difference.

What does the average household water bill cost a year?

Most water companies offer widgets and gadgets to help you cut your water use. Many are free too so be sure to check out your provider’s site.

Earn cashback on your water bill

Some current accounts pay cashback on a range of household bills, including water bills. Read The best current accounts for cashback for more.

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This article has been updated

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