The average household’s water bill has soared to over £370. Don’t let your money go down the drain – save both water and money with our 10 tips, which can cut your water bill by 10% or more.
Want to cut your water bill? Here’s the 10 things you should do as a priority:
1. Switch to a water meter
When it comes to water the market isn’t open to competition, which means that unlike gas and electricity you can’t shop around for a cheaper supplier. However you could still save money by switching to a meter and just paying for the water you use.
Whether it’s worth it depends on your usage, but the general rule is that if you have more bedrooms than people in your house you should save money. (Use this water meter calculator to get an accurate calculation of whether a meter will save you money – and if so, how much).
If you have more bedrooms than people in your home, you’ll probably save money by getting a water meter
Water meter installation is free and you could cut 10% from your bill. Also remember that even if having a water meter does turn out to be more expensive, you can switch back to a flat rate as long as you do so within a year of having the meter installed.
2. Check your water usage
If you want to see just how much water your family gets through, check out the water energy calculator at EnergySavingTrust.co.uk. You’ll get a report which shows how much you use along with quick wins to help you use water more wisely and save up to £150 per year.
3. Read the meter
As with any utility, if your bills are based on estimates you could be shelling out when you don’t need to. Most water companies say they will try to read your meter twice a year, but if they are unable to obtain a reading you’ll be sent an estimated bill. Reading your own meter regularly will ensure your bills are as accurate as possible (as well as alerting you to any leaks in your system).
4. Get water saving freebies
Most water companies offer a range of freebies designed to help you save water, including water efficient showerheads, flush saver bags, bath buoys and shower timers.
Make sure you check out the top 10 free water saving devices.
5. Flush less often
The loo accounts for one third of domestic water consumption, so each time you go you’re flushing money down the pan. Think about how often you flush – is it really necessary every time? If you don’t have a dual flush toilet, try a flush saver bag (which you may be able to get for free from your water company) which sits inside the cistern. These can help cut your water bill by saving up to two litres of water each time.
6. Turn the taps off
A dripping tap can drive you mad but at just one drip per second it could also waste 15 litres of water each day, so turn taps fully off and change washers as soon as they start to drip. Don’t leave taps running when shaving or brushing your teeth, and fill the sink with water to wash dishes. If you have dripping taps, make sure you get the washers changed.
7. Take a shower…
A shower uses just 35 litres of water compared to 80 litres for a bath. Shaving just one minute off your daily shower could save you £10 over the year, so invest in a timer to help keep showers short (or time your shower by listening to your favourite shower songs!).
What’s more, if a family of four replaced having one bath a week with a five-minute shower, that family would save up to £15 a year on gas bills and up to £25 on water bills (if you have a water meter fitted).
8. …Or a reduced capacity bath
If you still prefer a bath, there’s no reason why you can’t save water as you go. A standard capacity bath is 80 litres – so even when it’s only half-full, it uses a lot of water. A reduced capacity bath is the same size as a traditional tub, but cleverly shaped inside so you need less water for the deep soak experience.
And having an inflatable ‘bath buoy‘ for the kids’ baths could save up to 30 litres of hot water each time – so even if you’re not on a meter you’ll be saving money on all that water you’re not heating (up to £60 a year).
9. Get your heads sorted
It’s worth looking at changing the heads on both your shower and your taps.
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A water efficient showerhead can cut the water used by 30% and helps save on the cost of heating the water. In fact according to the Energy Saving Trust, a new water-efficient showerhead can save the average family around £75 off their gas bill and around £90 off their water bill (if they have a water meter) each year. That’s saving you up to £165 a year in total!
Tap aerators reduce the amount of water used by between 50-60% by mixing in air with the water stream. This ensures that although less water is used, tap pressure, flow and washing ability isn’t affected. They can be fitted in minutes to most taps, too.
10. Shop smart when it comes to appliances
Whenever you buy an appliance that uses a lot of water (such as a new washing machine or dishwasher), look for products with the new ‘Waterwise Marque‘ or the Energy Saving Recommended mark, as these models can help you to save water, energy and money.
Other ways to save water (and cash)
Already put into practice the top 10 tips above?
Here are some other quick ways to cut your water bill and save water. They all add up!
- Make sure that when washing fruit, veg or dishes you have a bowl in the sink. You can then use the dirty water collected by the bowl to water your plants.
- Consider leaving the plug in while you have a shower. You can then use the water that would normally go down the drain to water your garden or plants.
- Water your plants and lawn in the evening rather than during the day, as far less water will be lost to evaporation that way.
- Lawns can survive long periods of dry weather if the grass is not cut too short.
- When washing up, don’t keep running the tap to rinse dishes. You’ll save water if you have one bowl of washing water and one bowl of rinsing water.
- Wait until you have a full load of clothes or dishes before using your washing machine or dishwasher.
- Washing clothes at 30 degrees instead of at higher temperatures uses around 40% less energy (and cleans just as well with modern washing machines)
- You can save around £45 a year on your energy bill if you insulate your water tank with a water cylinder jacket (so water takes less time to heat up). The jackets are simple to fit (make sure you get one that’s ‘British Standard’) and you can buy them for around £15 – so it’ll more than pay for itself during the first year.
- Keep a pitcher of water in your fridge for cold drinks. That way you won’t have to keep running the tap for a few moments to obtain a cool temperature every time you want a drink.
- Soak pots and pans rather than scrubbing them under running water.
- Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need. Two-thirds of Brits waste water and energy by boiling more than they need. If you’re just making the one cuppa, there’s no need to fill the kettle to the brim!
For the serious water-saver, we’ve also got a guide on how to recycle household water – which shows you simple ways to collect water from your home and even how anyone can create a simple siphon system – perfect if you’ve got a big garden or plenty of thirsty plants!