What does the average household water bill cost a year?

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

Water bills have fallen by an average of 2% in the 2015/16 tax year, according to water regulator Ofwat.

The tables below highlight the average household bills for the period, including inflation.

Water-only companies


Average water bill 2015/16

Change from 2014/15

Affinity Water Central region



Affinity Water East region



Affinity Water South East region









Dee Valley



Northumbrian (Essex & Suffolk)






Sembcorp Bournemouth



South East



South Staffordshire



Sutton & East Surrey



Water and sewerage companies


Average water bill 2013/14

Change from 2012/13

Average sewerage bill 2013/14

Change from 2013/14

Average combined bill

Average change in combined bill from 2012/13








Dwr Cymru







Northumbrian (excluding Essex & Suffolk)







Severn Trent







South West*





















United Utilities





















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

The average water bill for England and Wales stands at £182, or £385 for combined water and sewerage.

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, why not have a go with this calculator on the Consumer Council for Water website?

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.

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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