Money Advice Service

If you have a water meter, you can take control of your bills. Just like a gas or electricity meter, a water meter measures how much water you use. Your water supplier then uses meter readings to tot up your bill for water and sewerage.

Big tip

Meters are normally read twice a year and there should never be more than one estimated reading a year.

Now that you’ve saved a few quid, we’ve a few ideas that will get you saving. You can try them out here.

How long it’ll take: Less than a minute:

Equipment needed:

    • A pen and paper, (or Excel spreadsheet) to keep note of your meter readings
    • Phone or internet access, to get in contact with your supplier

1. Take a meter reading today

Scrabble around under the sink or dig up the cover on the pavement and take a meter reading today.

Then take a meter reading each month and check if the numbers have leapt higher than expected. Then you can turn off the tap on leaks, before you get landed with a massive bill.

2. Check your bill

Is your bill based on estimated readings? If so, it might be wide of the mark. Submit your meter reading to your water company. Ask if you have built up a balance. Are you in credit or debit? How much?

3. Big balance? Get it back!

Maybe your payments were perfect. You haven’t overpaid, you don’t owe anything. But maybe you used less water than the water company expected, and have paid too much. If you’ve built up a big balance, ask for a refund.

Struggling to pay your bills? Start by talking to your water company about a repayment plan or lower-rate tariff. Ask if it has any grants, hardship funds or trust fund schemes.

Get your bills capped - If you already have a water meter, but use loads of water due to a large family or a medical condition, you may be able to get your bills capped. It helps if you’re on certain income-related benefits, such as Universal Credit, or Pension Credit.

Ask your water company about WaterSure , or WaterSure Wales if your supplier is (you’ve guessed it) Welsh Water. Under the schemes, you won’t pay more than the average metered bill for your area.

Pay for what you use - If you paid too much, ask to cut your Direct Debit so you only pay for the water you actually use.

If you didn’t pay enough, better to ask for higher Direct Debits each month, or risk a great big bill just when you don’t need it.

Cut your water use - And of course, don’t forget to try and save water where you can. The less water that gets down that plughole, the less money will come out of your wallet

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.