12 ways to reduce your water bill (2023)

Unless you're set on becoming the world's smelliest (and thirstiest) student, you'll need water. The bad news is: it's expensive. The good news is: we're here to help!

12 ways to reduce your water bill (1)

Your student water bill is one of the easiest bills to deal with. As water is essential for good hygiene and general survival, it should be one of the first things you sort out when moving into a new house.

But naturally, you'll want to make sure you're spending as little as possible on your water bill. Similarly, you'll want to use as little water as possible in order to cut your living costs(and do your bit to save the planet).

We've come up with a simple guide to make sure you get everything sorted as soon as possible. And we've even included a list of money-saving tricks that could save you £100s.

What's in this guide?

  • How your water bill is calculated
  • Setting up your water bill
  • How to reduce your water bill

Need to sort out the rest of your bills? Check our guide to student bills for everything you need to know.

How is your water bill calculated?

12 ways to reduce your water bill (2)

Credit: eamesBot – Shutterstock

One of the most important things to knowabout water bills is that each area of the country is covered by one supplier only. You can find out which one covers your area here. This means that, unlike with energy bills, there's no way to switch providers and get a better deal.

That said, there are two different ways to pay for your water usage (the method you use will impact the price):

  1. Water meter

    If your student house has a water meter, you'll simply pay for the amount of water you use. This means that if you follow our advice below on saving water, you could save a lot of money.

    Water meters look pretty similar to electricity and gas meters. You'll either find them inside the building where a water main is (e.g. under the sink) or outside the building near outdoor pipes (or where you can see water mains on the ground).

    The meter will measure how much water you use. On top of that, your local supplier will likely take a reading twice a year and charge you accordingly.

    (Video) 12 Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill

    Water companies are usually happy to fit a meter free of charge, so if you do think it would work for you, it might be worth having achat with yourlandlord.

  2. Standard tariff

    If your water bills are unmetered (i.e. on a standard tariff), you'll get billed a fixed amount depending on the value of your property.

    We've been told by NI Water that, in Northern Ireland, domestic customers don't currently need to pay a bill for water and sewerage services.

    In England and Wales, the average annual water bill is around £420. This works out as approximately £1.15 per day.

    And if you're living in Scotland, full-time students are exempt from paying household water and wastewater charges. But this is only the case if the property is occupied by full-time students only.

    If this isn't the case for your situation, your average water bill will be around £375. You'll pay a standard water charge that's automatically included in your council tax bill unless you decide you'd prefer to have a meter fitted instead.

    If you choose to have a water meter installed, you'll need to arrange this with Scottish Water directly. They'll bill you separately from your council tax.

    It's worth knowing that Scottish Water does charge a service and installation fee. Unless you'll be using much less water than the standard rate, it's unlikely that this will work out much cheaper.

Do you know where your water stopcock is located? It lets you turn off the mains water if there's a leak. Make sure you find it or ask your landlord where it is.

How to set up your water bill

12 ways to reduce your water bill (3)

Credit: Kalamurzing - Shutterstock

Setting up your water bill is pretty straightforward. After all, there's no competition involved when it comes to prices, so you won't have to spend hours tracking down the best offers as you do with gas, electricity and broadbandbills.

Here's how to set up paying your water bills in four easy steps:

  1. Find your supplier Once you've figured out what kind of tariff you're on, all you have to do is find out who your local water supplier is (using this tool) and get in touch online or over the phone. We'd recommend doing this on the first day you move in.
  2. If you're on a water meter, check it ASAP For those paying by meter, make sure you take a reading as soon as you move in. You don't want to be charged for water you didn't use.
  3. Know your payment dates – If you're on a standard tariff, you'll likely need to pay either monthly or quarterly. For those on a meter, it'll probably be every six months. However, this can vary from supplier to supplier. You should also take a meter reading when you move out to avoid being charged for water used by the tenants after you.
  4. Make sureeveryone's name is on the bill – One person in your household could be in charge of paying the water bills. But, having all of your housemates' names on the bill means you'll each be responsible if you fall behind on payments, rather than one person having to take responsibility. We've got more tips on how to split your household bills in our guide.

How to save money on your water bill

These are the best ways to lower your water bills:

  1. Check your supplier for help with your bills

    Everything seems to be getting more expensive in the cost of living crisis – including your water bill. If you're struggling to keep up with your water bill, you could be eligible for some help.

    (Video) 11 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Energy Bills | SAVE UP TO 51%!

    Check with your water provider to see what type of help they offer. This could be in the form of hardship schemes or fund independent charitable trusts. Each supplier has different schemes available, so make sure to reach out if you're struggling.

    Note that you often have to be claiming benefits to be eligible for this help though.

  2. Never boil more water than you need

    12 ways to reduce your water bill (4)

    Credit: vovidzha – Shutterstock

    A good old brew tends to solve pretty much everything, but overfilling the kettle can cause some serious wastage.

    Only fill the kettle with just enough water for what you'll actually need. Not only will this save water, but electricity and time too.

  3. Only use your washing machine when it's full

    It's easy to reduce your water bill by increasing your wash loads. You can do this by either waiting for your dirty laundry pile to grow or sharing a load with your housemates (if you're comfortable doing that, of course).

    Even if your washing machine has a half-load button, it will still use over half the amount of water used in a full load. It's better to fill it up!

    Generally, you can wash lights and darks together at 30°C as long as your detergent supports washing at this temperature. There's no excuse not to wash them all at once.

    Just bear in mind that you shouldn't wash new dark clothes with lights as the dye might run on the first few washes.

    And, for things like underwear, towels and bedding, it's best to wash them at higher temperatures to make sure they're sanitised. You can use our tips on how to wash your clothes to save more money on laundry.

  4. Use a dishwasher instead of washing up

    Lazy people, rejoice! It's thought that energy-efficient dishwashers use less water than hand-washing.

    However, as with your washing machine, you should only use your dishwasher if it's full. If you run the dishwasher when it's not full, you can end up using more water and energy than if you'd washed up by hand.

    Of course, not every student house is blessed with a dishwasher. If you're not one of the lucky ones, this next tip is for you...

    Get a box of dishwasher tablets when you sign up for a free trial with Smol.

    (Video) HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR ENERGY BILL | Tips to lower electric bill & save money | Energy crisis UK
  5. Use awashing up bowl

    12 ways to reduce your water bill (5)

    Credit: schab – Shutterstock

    If you don't have a dishwasher in your student house, or the dishes have stains too tough for a machine to tackle, you'll need to wash them by hand. If so, we recommend using a washing up bowl rather than washing straight in the basin.

    Washing up bowls are smaller than the sink itself. A smaller container means less water is required to fill it up.

    What's more, there should be a little gap between the edge of the bowl and the edge of the sink. This is perfect for rinsing your dishes without tampering with the warm soapy water in the bowl.

  6. Storecold water in the fridge

    It sometimes takes a few seconds for your tap water to turn to your preferred temperature. Over the course of a year, you could be wasting a lot of water by waiting for the water to turn cold.

    Instead, have a jug of water in the fridge at all times. This way, you'll be able to avoid wasting water each time you have a drink.

    If you're not sure what to use, check out this jug. It's big enough to fill a few glasses, and should easily fit in the fridge door.

  7. Have shorter showers

    In theory, a shower should use up less water than a bath. But this doesn't apply if you tend to stand in the shower long enough to come out looking like a shrivelled-up prune.

    A 15-minute shower will use almost the same amount of water as a bath. This almost doubles if you're using a power shower – scrub up fast!

  8. Don't use the toilet as a bin

    We've probably all been guilty of this at some point, but things like tissues, tampons and face wipes don't belong in the toilet.

    (Video) 20 Ways to Save Energy and MONEY around your Home

    Not only is flushing them harmful to the environment, but you'll be wasting a lot of water too. What's more, many of these things aren't flushable anyway, so they can clog up the pipes somewhere along the line.

    You probably have a perfectly functioning bin anyway, so use it.

  9. Replace leaky taps

    If your tap is dripping, ask your landlord to fix it ASAP.

    Not only will the sound of a leaky tap drive you crazy, but it'll also be wasting an astounding amount of water. This can leads to a very expensive water bill.

    Check our guide to saving money on your energy bills for more tips on how to keep costs down.

  10. Turn off the taps when brushing your teeth

    Whenever you're brushing your teeth, turn off the tap during intervals when you don't need water.

    You don't need the water to be particularly cold or hot, so there's no reason to keep the tap on. Turning off the taps whenever possible is a small but effective way to reduce your water bill.

  11. Bag water-savingfreebies

    12 ways to reduce your water bill (7)

    Credit: Alex Staroseltsev – Shutterstock

    This might not seem economical to water suppliers, but many companies offer water-saving freebies. While they'll end up making less money from you, they know that being good to the environment is more important sometimes.

    Examples of these would be extensions for your tap that reduce water flow, showerheads that distribute the flow more efficiently and timers to use in the shower.

    Grab your water-saving freebies here.

  12. Reduce your flush

    Toilets without dual flush settings (which let you choose how much water to flush) use an average of up to 13 litres of water for every single flush.

    You can reduce the amount of water used by putting a brick in your toilet cistern. This will reduce the amount of water in each flush without affecting any of the pressure.

    (Video) How to Lower Your Water Bill//Save on Water

    Otherwise, the simple solution would be to flush less.

    The motto "if it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down" might sound gross, but it could save you cash. Nonetheless, make sure all flatmates are in agreement before you start implementing this method.

Our guide to student bills includes more advice on how to get the best deals, how to set up each account, and how to split the payments.


How can I reduce water bill? ›

Reduce the amount of water you use
  1. Have a quick shower rather than a bath. ...
  2. Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth. ...
  3. Wash up rather than putting things in the dishwasher. ...
  4. Leave the garden alone. ...
  5. Put a big plastic bottle filled with water in your cistern to save the amount of water that is used.

How do I qualify for WaterSure? ›

To qualify for WaterSure you need to: be on a water meter or have applied for one and be waiting for it to be installed, or be paying an assessed charge because it's not possible to fit a meter at your property. be on certain benefits. have a high essential use of water.

Do you get reduced water rates if you live alone? ›

You cannot get a discount on your water bill for single occupancy. But your bill should be less than if you lived with other people because either: you have a water meter and only pay for the water you use. your flat rate is based on the amount of water someone living alone uses.

How much do you pay on WaterSure? ›

If you do qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill at £374 (2016/2017) so you won't have to pay more than that, no matter how much water you have to use. This figure is made up of £198 for your water and £176 for your wastewater services.

What are 10 ways to reduce water? ›

25 ways to save water
  1. Check your toilet for leaks. ...
  2. Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. ...
  3. Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. ...
  4. Take shorter showers. ...
  5. Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. ...
  6. Take baths. ...
  7. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. ...
  8. Turn off the water while shaving.

What are 3 ways to reduce water? ›

Tips for Conserving Water
  • Never use your toilet as a waste basket.
  • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take short showers instead of tub baths. ...
  • If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full.
12 Feb 2020

What free stuff can I get on benefits? ›

30 additional DWP benefits and freebies:
  • Reduced council tax bills.
  • Capped water bills.
  • Half price bus.
  • Discounted rail fares.
  • Free or discounted gym membership.
  • Help with new job costs.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme of £140 off fuel bills.
  • £25 in Cold Weather Payments.
7 Sept 2022

Who is entitled to the 650 help? ›

You may get a payment of £650 paid in 2 lump sums of £326 and £324 if you get payments of any of the following: Universal Credit. income-based Jobseeker's Allowance ( JSA ) income-related Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA )

What can I get free on universal credit? ›

Here's just a few examples:
  • Help with health costs, including prescriptions and dental treatment.
  • Additional help towards housing payments if your Universal Credit payment is not enough to pay your rent.
  • Free school meals.
  • Free early education for two-year-olds.
  • Sure Start maternity grants.
  • Cold Weather Payments.

What is the average water bill? ›

How much does the average water bill cost? The average American water bill is $45.44 per month. And Americans use an average of 82 gallons of water a day at home. The best way to see how much water you're using is to look at the breakdown of charges on your water bill.

What is the lowest water bill? ›

Cost of Water Bills by State

According to data collected by RENTCafé, the least expensive cost of water in any state is in Florida, where the average cost of a water bill is $6. Wisconsin and Vermont follow, with average water costs at $18.

What benefits can I claim living alone? ›

Get your personalised quote today!
  • child tax credit.
  • housing benefit.
  • income support.
  • working tax credit.
  • income-based jobseeker's.
  • allowance.
  • income-related employment and support allowance.

Can you claim back water charges? ›

You need to contact your waste or surface water company if you think you're due a refund. For most households, the company that deals with their water supply is the same company that deals with their wastewater and sewerage. However, in some cases it may be two different companies – check your bill to find out.

What is the big difference scheme? ›

The Big Difference Scheme can offer a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £18,278. Households with child dependants may be eligible for an additional income allowance in excess of this amount.

Does everyone have to pay for water? ›

For the 2022-23 charging year, which starts on 1 April 2022, everyone who has a water meter will pay £21.05 a year for water fixed charges and £63.58 a year for wastewater charges.

What are 20 ways to save water? ›

20 Ways to Save Water
  1. Use a displacement device (a water-filled bottle) in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water required to flush.
  2. Use toilet only for its intended purpose. ...
  3. Repair leaky taps or toilets immediately. ...
  4. Consider a small capacity toilet when replacing an old one.
  5. Take shorter showers.

What are 100 ways to save water? ›

100 Ways to Save Water
  1. When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. ...
  2. Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance checkup. ...
  3. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  4. Run your dishwasher only when it is full and you could save 400 gallons a month.

What are 50 ways to save water? ›

50 Ways to Conserve Water
  • When watering plants, apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
  • Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water, close to the ground.
  • Use a water-conserving icemaker.
  • Teach children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
11 May 2022

What are 10 ways to save water School? ›

How can students save water at school?
  1. Simple Actions = Big Water Savings​ ...
  2. Carry a refillable water bottle. ...
  3. Skip the tray in the lunch line and use only one plate. ...
  4. Turn off the water when washing your hands. ...
  5. Report leaks to the appropriate authorities. ...
  6. In labs and art rooms, clean up with buckets of water.
26 Nov 2019

What are the 15 uses of water? ›

Uses of water

(1) Water is used in homes for drinking, cooking food, washing utensils, cleaning floor, brushing teeth, bathing, washing clothes, flushing toilets and watering plants. These are the domestic uses of water. Water is also used by animals for drinking purposes.

What are the best benefits to ask for? ›

10 benefits that you can ask for
  • Paid time off. Paid time off, or PTO, is a benefit that grants you compensation for personal time off. ...
  • Commuter benefits. ...
  • Insurance plans. ...
  • Flexible hours and work from home. ...
  • Professional development opportunities. ...
  • Student loan repayment. ...
  • Health and wellness benefits. ...
  • Parental benefits.

Who is eligible for the 500 pound one off payment? ›

If you're part of a working household that receives tax credits, you may be eligible for a new one-off payment of £500. The new payment is being introduced to provide extra support when the temporary increase in Working Tax Credit ends as planned on 5 April 2021.

What free stuff can you get at 60? ›

Top 10 Discounts for Over-60s
  • Ride the Rail. It's really important for older people to keep a strong social network. ...
  • Iceland Over-60s Discount. ...
  • More Points at Boots. ...
  • Movie Savings. ...
  • Free TV. ...
  • Cheaper Haircuts. ...
  • Free Bus Pass. ...
  • Free Prescriptions.
17 Oct 2022

Who will get 150 disability payment? ›

Disability benefits

You may get a lump sum payment of £150 if you get any of the following: Attendance Allowance. Constant Attendance Allowance. Disability Living Allowance for adults.

What other money can I get from the government? ›

10 ways to get free money from the government:
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance.
  • The Lifeline Program.
  • Child Care and Development Fund.
  • Down Payment Assistance.
  • Pell Grant.
25 May 2022

What is Universal Credit loophole 1500? ›

A glitch in the application process saw some land several of these DWP loans. This was despite not being entitled to the money. Claimants were usually looking for extra cash and were approached by fraudsters posing as jobcentre staff or personal loan advisors. As payment, scammers took £500 from every £1,500 secured.

What to do if you have no money? ›

I'm in Debt With No Job and No Money – What to Do
  1. Enroll in a hardship program. ...
  2. Make a budget and prioritize your expenses. ...
  3. Cut your spending. ...
  4. Manage credit cards wisely while unemployed. ...
  5. Apply for government assistance. ...
  6. Think before withdrawing money from your 401(k) ...
  7. Take out a home equity loan to pay off debt.
19 Oct 2022

How much rent will Universal Credit pay for a single person? ›

£296.35 a week for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them.

What is low income for a single person UK? ›

A single person needs to earn £25,500 a year to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living in April 2022. A couple with two children needs to earn £43,400 between them.

How much water does a 2 person household use per month? ›

On average in the US, water use at home (water from the tap, toilet, dishwasher, etc.) adds up to about 138 gallons per household per day, or 60 gallons per person per day.

How much water does the average household use? ›

The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors. In addition, there are other miscellaneous uses of water in the house which may be very significant, depending on the degree of water conservation by the household.

Is water meter cheaper? ›

A water meter means you only pay for the water you use. So that could mean significant savings for your household, or bigger bills – which of course you want to avoid at all costs. If you don't have a water meter, you pay a fixed price for your water. It doesn't matter how much water you use, your bill won't change.

What time is water cheapest? ›

Utility companies often charge higher rates during peak hours, but what you probably didn't know is the difference between day and night. Peak times for a company are when everyone is using their product, be it water, gas or electricity. At off-peak times (generally the nighttime), prices drop significantly.

How much water does a shower use? ›

Shower and bath water use. Showers account for about 20 percent of the water used indoors and are typically the third-largest use of water in the average home. According to a national study by the Water Research Foundation in 2016, the average shower uses roughly 17 gallons of water and lasts for around eight minutes.

Why is my water bill so high all of a sudden? ›

Hidden leaks is the major reason for a sudden rise in water bills. The longer the leaks remain unaddressed, the more it drives up your water bill. But the worst part is water leaks promote mould growth, rot and other possible damage to your home.

How do people live on Social Security alone? ›

Here's what you should do if you expect Social Security to be your only source of retirement income: Pay off your mortgage before retirement. Avoid claiming Social Security before your full retirement age. Consider waiting until age 70 to sign up for Social Security.

How much is the living alone allowance in 2022? ›

It was announced that people getting the Living Alone Increase will get a once-off payment of €200 the week starting 14 November 2022.

Can you live comfortably on Social Security alone? ›

Living on Social Security alone is not only possible, but many retirees already accomplish that very feat every year. While the lifestyle associated with Social Security income isn't exactly luxurious, it doesn't have to equal rice and beans for the rest of your life, either.

How can I avoid paying my water bill? ›

You can do this by using a government scheme called Breathing Space. To set it up, you'll need to talk through your financial situation with a debt adviser. If they believe it's right for you, they'll apply to get you on the scheme and let us know.

How can I reduce my water bill? ›

Reduce the amount of water you use
  1. Have a quick shower rather than a bath. ...
  2. Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth. ...
  3. Wash up rather than putting things in the dishwasher. ...
  4. Leave the garden alone. ...
  5. Put a big plastic bottle filled with water in your cistern to save the amount of water that is used.

Can you be overcharged for water? ›

If your rent includes water charges

There are rules to make sure you aren't overcharged. You shouldn't be charged more than the amount the water company would charge, plus a reasonable administration fee.

Can you get help with water rates if on benefits? ›

WaterSure is a scheme which helps some people with their water bills. To apply for the scheme, you must be on benefits and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children.

Can you get single person discount on water rates? ›

This is based on the typical amount of water that customers use in homes with a similar number of bedrooms as yours. If you live alone, we can pop you on our cheaper single occupier tariff. Give us a call to arrange this on 0800 980 8800.

How much should my water bill be Severn Trent? ›

Our average household bill for water and sewerage in 2022/23 will be around £389 per year or just £1.06 per day. That compares with an average bill of £408 for England and Wales last year. Our average water bill in 2022/23 will be around £199 (55 pence per day).

Can I get my water bill written off? ›

The company should be sensitive and take into account your ability to pay. Occasionally, it might be possible to have the debt written off so you don't need to pay it at all. Your water company may refuse your payment offer if it isn't enough to clear your current water bill and the amount you owe.

How many people Cannot afford water? ›

Yet over 40% of the global population does not have access to sufficient clean water. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, according to UN-Water. The lack of water poses a major threat to several sectors, including food security.

How many people Cannot afford clean water? ›

2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water at home. Of those, 1.2 billion people have basic drinking water service.

What time of day is water cheapest? ›

Utility companies often charge higher rates during peak hours, but what you probably didn't know is the difference between day and night. Peak times for a company are when everyone is using their product, be it water, gas or electricity. At off-peak times (generally the nighttime), prices drop significantly.

How much is the average water bill UK? ›

Water will cost you, according to Water UK average annual combined water and sewage is £408 a year, or £34 a month in 2021/22. This is made up of an average of £194 for the water bill and £204 for the sewage bill.

What time is best to do laundry? ›

Run your washer and dryer early in the morning or at night to avoid the surge. During the winter, electricity demand is highest in the morning hours between 7 and 9 am when people are waking up and turning up their heat. Doing laundry in the evening is your safest bet.

What is the cheapest time to use washing machine? ›

Given that energy prices are at their lowest between 10pm and 5am, I would advise scheduling your washing machine to run into the early hours of the morning. Doing this can help you to significantly cut down energy costs."

What time is the best time to wash? ›

When is the best time to wash clothes?
  • Try washing before 4 p.m. or after 7 p.m. – Many energy companies charge extra for electricity during their “peak hours,” which see increased energy usage.
  • During the summer, run your washer early in the morning – energy use peaks on hot afternoons.
20 Mar 2018

How much is the average water bill 2022? ›

Until 31 March 2022, everyone who has a water meter will pay £20.34 a year for water fixed charges and £65.18 a year for wastewater charges.

What uses the most water in a house UK? ›

At Home with Water can reveal that showers are now the largest user of water in the home. Across Britain, we use in the order of 840 billion litres each year, and spend around £2.3 billion on heating water for showers.

How many Litres of water does a family of 4 use per day? ›

An average urban Indian uses about 150 litres of water every day.

Why is my water bill so high UK? ›

Your water bill may increase unexpectedly for a variety of reasons and we've compiled a list of some of the most common ones: You may have more people than usual staying in your home. Brought new appliances that use more water, for example, a power shower or a garden sprinkler. Your home may have been left empty for.


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