How to save cash on your water bill - Martyn James

Most water companies offer some nifty gadgets to help you with your water consumptionMost water companies offer some nifty gadgets to help you with your water consumption
Most water companies offer some nifty gadgets to help you with your water consumption
Awful April is on the horizon. April is when bills traditionally go up – and because of the cost-of-living crisis, inflation and other rising prices, this year the price hikes will be much bigger. Don’t panic though! I’ll be sharing my money saving tips so you can cut your bills in all areas in the coming weeks.

One essential service that people often don’t bother complaining about is water. That’s because we’re stuck with our water provider whether we like it or not. You do have some options though. Here’s my advice on how to cut your bill.

To meter or not to meter

Unlike energy or broadband services, you can’t jump ship with your water provider. This April water bills aren’t going up as much as inflation, but the increase is still on average 7.5 per cent. In addition, prices are much higher depending on each individual water supplier.

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And that’s before we even get anywhere near the sewage overflow in to rivers that have rightly upset huge numbers of people. But you can still save cash on your bills.

Water meters are one way you could actually save you some money. The way that water bills are estimated is based on the ‘rateable’ value of the property in most parts of the UK. What this means is the size or value of your property affects how your bill is estimated. So if you have a big house but only you live in it, then a meter may save you hundreds. If you’ve got a big family, a garden and the washing machine is always going, you could end up paying more.

Scottish Water has a water calculator that you can use to see if you’d save some cash. The meter is free but sadly you have to pay the cost of fitting it, unlike in the rest of the UK.

Compensation you may not know about

You could be entitled to compensation automatically if your water supply is interrupted.

Scottish Water has a consumer charter that lists the compensation payable under a range of circumstances, such as failure to issue a warning for a planned interruption to supply.

Financial difficulties

If money is tight then potentially being cut off from an essential service like water can be a real worry. There are lots of options though, but the golden rule, as always, is act sooner rather than later.

If you are in receipt of benefits or have a low income you can potentially get discounts on your water bill. You’ll need to speak to the water company and give them details about your income and circumstances. They should also come up with sensible payment plans to help you get out of a sticky financial situation too.

In fact there are loads of really useful schemes available for people struggling with water bills. Just ask – you may even get support from a charitable organisation.


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Everyone loves a freebie and most water companies offer some nifty gadgets to help you with your water consumption. You may have to pay for some after claiming the first ones free but to be honest, take advantage of them. These include shower nozzles that help reduce flow (the same for taps and hoses too). I know this might seem like you’ll have a rubbish shower, but trust me, they are surprisingly effective. Type ‘water saving’ into Scottish Water’s website.

Martyn James is a leading consumer rights campaigner, TV and radio broadcaster and journalist.

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