Why should I reduce water use?
If you’re wondering how to save money on your water bill, then one of the key methods is to look for smart ways to cut down on the water you use. Beyond the clear financial benefits, cutting your water use is a great way to help the environment.
By switching to more efficient methods of using water you’ll also be helping to improve your overall home efficiency. This is a growing area of interest for home buyers and if done well you’ll even increase the value of your home.
How water bills are priced
When we consider how to reduce water bills, it’s important to first check what type of contract you have. There are two main types of water bills – rates (unmetered) and metered. With ‘rates’ you pay based on the size of your home, with no extra cost if you use more than the average home and no saving on your water bill if you use less.
If you’re on this type of contract it really doesn’t matter what changes you make to your home, you’ll still pay exactly the same amount. Well, unless everyone else with your size home makes the same changes, but that’s rather unlikely.
So, to secure the best prices, you should switch to a metered supply. You’ll then pay for the actual amount you use. Water meters are free and despite this, and the potential for saving money, only 40% of homes have one. A quick word of warning though, if you have more people living in your house than you have bedrooms, you may spend more this way.
There is a third option – assessed – which only occurs when the water company refuses to fit a meter. These are slightly more accurate than unmetered bills, with more factors being considered to calculate your bill.
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With so many great ways to save money on electric and gas by changing supplier, you may wonder if it’s possible to do the same for water. Sadly, under current UK legislation it’s not possible to change a water supplier at all.
This means that whilst people that use South West Water pay an average of £470 per year, Northumbrian Water customers pay around £326 a year. A large difference! Whilst this is frustrating, average water bills don’t change much year-on-year and will actually fall in 2020 so they’re at similar levels to 2010. We’re fairly sure most gas and electricity providers can’t say the same.
All of this means the only way to save on water bills is to cut usage.
How to save on water bills by making changes at home
Below we’ve outlined our six top tips to help reduce water bills. From using modern appliances to reusing water, and more.
Switch to showers instead of baths
Showers use far less water than baths do, so simply changing the way you wash can be a fantastic way to reduce usage. If your shower is not efficient, you could also be paying more than you need to. Adding low flow showerheads, further reduces the water that is used. If you need to know new shower costs, view our guide.
Change your taps
Fitting low flow, high efficiency aerators to taps can cut water usage by 4%. That may not sound like a lot, but it can add up drastically over the years. You can find out more about prices in our guide on the cost to install kitchen sink and taps.
Switch to efficient kitchen appliances
Modern washing machines and dishwashers use less water and less power than their old counterparts. And, if you’re using a washing machine that’s too large for your home, then you could save water by switching to a smaller model. In fact, even though a 12KG washing machine is 50% bigger than an 8KG model, it actually uses 65% more water!
Upgrade or replace your toilet
If your toilet is not economical you can replace it with a more efficient model, or you can use dual flush toilet converters to improve your current toilet. As toilets use the most water in a home, this is a must have. You can also purchase grey water diverters to recycle shower water and use it to flush the toilet. If you’re considering a new toilet, view our toilet installation cost guide.
Install a more efficient boiler
With a more efficient boiler you’ll spend less time waiting for water and for your heating to warm up. By having access to hot water straight away that’s less time running the tap waiting for it to heat up and less wasted water. Find out more about new boiler costs here.
With it raining for nearly 160 days every year in the UK, there’s a great opportunity to use that rainwater for other purposes. Installing a rainwater tank can give you free water to use for flushing toilets, watering the garden, washing laundry and more! Although you can’t drink it, you can use it for cooking, or for baths/showers and it’s still a great way to reduce water use.
Who can help me to lower my water bill?
Whilst some of the tips above can be completed yourself, some will require the skills of a builder or plumber. To take the hassle out of these changes, we would recommend hiring a professional. To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get a personalised quote for methods to reduce water bills use our free search feature.
Useful checklist to save on water bills
- Whilst it may seem unusual to spend money to save money, having the right appliances and home insulation will save you money in the long run.
- For example, new shower costs and new boiler costs can easily be offset by efficiency improvements.
- It’s impossible to change water supplier without moving, so if you want to know how to reduce water bills, then you’ll need to use water more efficiently.
- Investigate whether metered or unmetered is best for you based on the number of people in your home.
- Once you’ve paid for installation, rainwater tanks give you access to free water for many different uses.
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