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Money saving

How to save on your water bills

Posted 23 June 2015 by Shelley Bowers

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Feel like you’re flushing money down the toilet? Cut your bills with our top tips!

Do you ever get your water bill through and wonder how you could possibly have spent that much on water? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – the average water bill for a family of four in a house is a huge £587! If you live in England or Wales and you pay your water bills directly, you could save by following these handy tips:

1)      Get a water meter: one way to save on your water bill may be to get a water meter installed. Without a water meter, you’ll be on rateable billing, meaning you pay based on the size of your house, not how much water you’ll use. Water meters are free in England and Wales (just speak to your provider), but you’ll have to pay for one if you live in Scotland. Depending on the size of your house, you could save hundreds on your water bill every year, but…

2)      …check if you’ll save: before diving right in and ordering a water meter, check with the water meter calculator whether it will actually be cheaper for you. If you’re a big family living in a smaller house, your rateable bill could be actually less than the water you’re using, so don’t switch if it’s going to mean you’re out of pocket! If you’ve got a sprinkler in your garden, your water company will install a water meter and may charge you for it. If you get a water butt, you could save by using rainwater for your gardening needs.

3)      Free water saving packs: hack your home and make it more water efficient with free water saving gadgets for your taps, shower and toilets. Check what’s available from your local water company through the Save Water Save Money website. With clever products like tap water regulators and a timer for your shower available in some areas, you could save up to £120 a year.

4)      Switch to showers: as a general rule, having a bath will use more water than a shower, so if you’re a fan of soaking in the tub every few days, you could be saving by taking showers instead – maybe just limit your bath to once a week and make it a special treat. Going for a shower rather than a bath could shave over £250 off your yearly water and energy bill!

5)      Shorter showers: whilst we’re on the subject, you might be spending more time in the shower than you need to. The Save Water Save Money site recommends you aim for a four minute shower, but if you’re really looking to save, why not push for something more extreme? The 2-minute rinse challenge means you have to switch the tap off while you’re soaping up or putting conditioner on. However, it might not be much fun while the weather’s still a bit nippy!

6)      Keep the tap off: you parents probably always told you to switch off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth, and there are good reasons for them doing so! It can save loads of water. In fact, leaving the tap running wastes six litres of water a minute, meaning you could just be pouring money away!

7)      Tighten the taps up: if your taps leak, make sure you turn them off tightly. Even a few dripping taps can push your water bills up if they do this constantly, so if you can’t stop them leaking, get them fixed. Fixing a dripping tap could save you £18 a year, so if you’ve a few in your home that need to be fixed, that’s a big saving.

8)      Wash economically: try not to stick the washing machine on with just a few items in, as this wastes water. You’re better off waiting until you’ve got a full load so you’re making the most of each wash – and  turn the temperature down from 40°C to 30°C – that’ll save you some money too. The washing machine can cost you up to £63 a year in energy costs alone, so fewer loads means bigger savings!

 

How do you save money on your water bills? Let us know your top tips on our Twitter page.

by Shelley Bowers

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