Unfortunately in the U.K. unlike energy suppliers, we are unable to switch water suppliers. However the good news is that I am here to help you reduce your water bill with these easy water saving tips that could save you £100s.
Is it worth switching to a water meter?
There are 2 ways your water supplier works out your bill.
- Rateable billing:
If you don’t have a water meter, you are paying a set amount per year based on the size of your home and how many occupants live in your home. Therefore it is an estimate.
This is great if you have a big family and hobbies like a big fishpond that uses a lot of water. Switching to a water meter can be beneficial but isn’t always the case. To find out whether switching to a water meter is suitable for your household, use the Consumer Council for Waters Water Meter Calculator.
- Water meter:
If you have a water meter, you pay for the amount of water you use. The meter measures how many units of water you have used and is read by your local water supplier twice a year to produce your bill.
Even with a water meter, there are still ways to use less water and reduce your bills, without having to compromise on your quality of life.
Now to the water saving tips!
1) Turn the tap off!
Many of us have a habit to leave the tap running while brushing our teeth or shaving. By turning the tap off while you brush, you could save approximately 3 litres of water each time! Why not fill a small glass or toothbrush tumbler with water to rinse instead?
2) Pick the shower over the bathtub
On average 80 litres of water is used to fill a bathtub, where as a 5 minute shower on the other hand uses approximate 35 litres of water. This way you use less than half the amount of water needed compared to a bath and save about £50 a year.
If you have a child that refuses to have a shower and would only have a bath, invest into an inflatable fun and colourful bath buoy for about £10, which will save you up to 30 litres of water per bath.
3) Grab the freebies!
We may think water suppliers like to charge as much as they can for our water, but as far as I know water suppliers in the U.K. such as South West Water & Thames Water offer water saving gadgets to their customers. Sounds strange, but hey why not grab those freebies to help you save on your water bill, right?
Head over to your water suppliers website to check out what freebies are available to you. If you can’t find anything online, why not give them a call? If your supplier is Southern Water, ask them for a FREE Water-saving home visit. They then will come and install the freebies mentioned bellow for free.
Below I list some of the freebies that can be obtained with estimate of savings based on Thames Water. If you can’t obtain these for free, they can be also found cheaply on Amazon.
Freebies that they offer include:
Using one of these showerheads can save you up to £87 per year
These are bags placed into the cistern to save 1.2 Litres per flush. This alone can cut your water bill by up to £19 per year.
I personally have placed 1 in each cistern saving me 1.2 litres per flush.
These 4 minute shower timers could help you save up to £30 per year.
These tap inserts can reduce the flow rate from a standard 10 litres per minute to 5 litres per minute. This gadget can save you up to £37 per year
This device also regulates water flow and can help you save up to £126 per year.
4) Chill water in the fridge
Instead of letting the tap run until the water is cold enough, fill a fridge jug with water and chill in the fridge or if you have a built in water dispenser in the fridge, make sure its always topped up. If there isn’t enough space in the fridge, making some ice cubes is another option to keep your drink cool.
5) Give your veg and fruit a bath
Washing fruit and vegetable in a bowl of water instead of a running tap will use less water. On average a running kitchen tap lets out 9 litres of water per minute.
Once I washed my fruit and veg, I like to use the water in the bowl to water plants inside and outside of my home. That way no water has been wasted.
6) Flushing the toilet
Stop wasting water with every flush, place a Save-a-Flush bag in your cistern to save at least 1.2 litres of water per flush. You can get them from your water supplier or get them cheaply from Amazon.
Why not make a DIY one by filling 2 small water bottles with water then placing them into the cistern.
7) Don’t overfill the kettle
By only boiling as much water as you need, you will save money on electricity needed to boil the amount of water you need as well as avoid water being wasted as most of us don’t like reboiling the water. Did you know the more water you have in the kettle, the longer it takes to boil?
8) Full washing machine
Make sure you have a full wash load before using the washing machine. I tend to wash my coloured and dark clothing together to create a full load and wash at 30 degree C. But if you have a new garment that is dark, don’t include it in the coloured wash, as new dark garments may leak some dye for the first few washes!
If you have a flatmate, why not share a wash load? My best friend Iz and I used to share wash loads back in our uni days, when we were living together. This way we saved on our water bill, electric and washing detergent!
9) Fix dripping tap and leaks
If you have a dripping tap, make sure you get it fixed as soon as possible. If you are living in a rented property, get in your landlord to fix it asap! Dripping taps can be noisy and wastes a huge amount of water! Why pay for water that you haven’t even been able to use right?
10) Discounts and help with paying your water bill
If you are on a single occupant or on a low income in the U.K., you are entitled to a discounted water bill. There are several discounts available from your local water supplier. Give them a call to find out.
If you live in southern England and have Southern Water as your supplier you may be entitled to a 20%-90% discount on your water bill using the Essentials Tariff.
If you are living by yourself and have an unmetered bill, you may be entitled to a single occupier discount. Water suppliers usually ask for a single occupant council tax bill as evidence.
11) Use washing up bowl
Using a washing up bowl instead of washing under a running tap. You could also use the sink if you have a plug, but washing up bowls tend to be smaller in size and therefore use less water to be filled up than the average sized sink.
If you don’t have many dishes to wash, why not save some washing up to do one load to save on water?
12) Fit a water butt
If you have a garden, consider fitting a water butt to collect the rainwater that runs off your roof. According to Southern Water a single water butt can fill up the watering can 25 times and based of an average rainfall in the south eastern region of England can fill your water butt up 450 times a year. Meaning you can get about 11250 full watering can worth of water for free! In the U.K. water suppliers encourage their customers to install water butts and it is totally legal here, but in some parts of the world such as some states in America collecting rainwater is illegal. So please make sure you check out the legality before you install a water butt.
13) Use neighbours water if free
I once had a very lovely neighbour called June before I moved house. She allowed me to use her water from her garden for free, as she is on an unmetered tariff. Because she is on an unmetered tariff, she pays a set price for her water bill however much water she uses. Hence she has given me permission to use her water to water my plants and fill my little girls paddling pool up, while I was living in the old place.
If you have a neighbour on an unmetered water supply and get along well with them, you may be able to use their water for your garden. Before you do make sure you got permission first!
14) Use mulch in the garden
15) Water retaining gel
Another way to obtain the gel is to soak clean nappies in water then cut the nappy open to obtain the gel and mix the gel into your soil. I have done that with Yasmins left over nappies when she out grew her nappies. Pampers also say their gel is non-toxic so it is safe to use in soil to grow fruits and vegetables.
16) Best time to water plant
The best time to water your outdoor plants is in the evening or early morning, because the sun during midday may dries out the soil more quickly.
17) Efficient washing machine dishwasher
Newer appliances tend to be a lot more water and energy efficient than older appliances. If you are planning to buy a new dishwasher or washing machine, check the labels on the machine for their efficiency rating.
18) Bucket to wash car instead of hose
19) Re-use and Recycle
After boiling/steaming vegetables or washing fruit and veg in a bowl, use the water that is no longer needed to water your houseplants.
Some people that I know use their bath water to flush the toilet.
We have a fish tank and regularly need to do part water changes. The water that we remove from the tank contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which is an amazing natural fertilizer for plants.
20) Sweep garden instead of using a water jet
Instead of using a hose to spray down patios and driveways, use a broom to sweep the dirt away.
If you like this post, why not share it with family and friends to help them too save money on their water bill? Do you have another water saving tip? If so comment down below to share it with me, as I’d love to hear from you!