Each month we have to pay a certain amount to our local water company to supply us with clean running water to our home. Unfortunately, unlike other utility bills you can’t shop around to get the best price. The water company in your area is the one you are stuck with, although prices charged by each provider are fairly similar.
Like all other utility bills, the cost to supply water is on the increase but here we have a few handy tips to help you save water and ultimately save you money.
Current legislation dictates that all new properties have to have a water meter installed. This also applies to properties where there is a swimming pool, a sprinkler system, (regardless how many times you use one) or has a power shower that requires a pump to increase water pressure. Your water supplier can also choose to fit a water meter when a property is sold.
A water meter will save you money in the long run as you are only charged for the water you use, and not a flat rate.
This is something the water companies like to keep nice and quiet and for good reason. The assessed charge can save you around £50 to £100 a year! Whilst this sounds great there are only a few who can qualify for this.
So, what is the assessed charge? There are very clear stipulations to joining this scheme. First, you must be living in the property on your own and secondly a water meter cannot be fitted at your property.
If you fit this very tight criteria, then give your water company a call, and do not be fobbed off as all water companies should offer this discount.
I suspect most people have not heard of this. As part of your water charges, regardless if you pay a flat rate or are on a meter, you will be charged for the surface water (rain!) coming off your guttering, down the drainpipes and flowing into the main public sewage network. There are millions of properties throughout the UK where drainpipes are not connected to the main sewage network and they are entitled to claim back £17 to £50 each year.
Have a look round your property and if you feel you are entitled to this rebate contact your local water authority. As with the Assessed Charge, stand firm with your water supplier, as this discount does exist!
Brushing Your Teeth
Dentists recommend we brush our teeth for a minimum of 2 minutes, twice a day, and if, like the majority of us, you leave the tap running during this time, you are wasting water. So you could say an individual wastes up to 4 minutes of flowing water each day, equating to a massive 24 litres a day! If you multiply that by the number of people in your property you could find your water meter going into overdrive every morning and night.
Turn the tap off whilst you brush, only using the water as and when you need to rinse. It will save you money in the long run.
The Power Shower
We all love a powerful shower but did you know, a power shower uses 10 litres of water a minute! Some showers are so strong they can empty your hot water tank within minutes resulting in either a cold shower or no hot water until it is heated up again.
Don’t run the shower for too long before you get in it. Some take only a matter of seconds before hot water is flowing so there is no need to let it run for any longer. Cut down the amount of time in the shower, most water companies recommend a maximum of 4 minutes.
If you take ages washing your hair or exfoliating, try turning the shower off whilst you do what you need to do.
Washing clothes is a necessity but there are ways to do it without wasting time, energy and water! Ensure your washing machine is full, as this will use less water. Most new machines have water/energy saving cycles or calculate how much water is needed but still be mindful that a full load uses less water than two half loads.
Hand washing may seem a good idea but only do it when you really have to as it uses more water than a washing machine. Again, most washing machines nowadays have a hand wash cycle so why not save up all your bits and wash all in one go.
Only flush when you need to
Without going into too much detail, common sense should kick in as to when to leave the flush until the next visit. This may sound like a “no no” to some people, but each time you flush the loo it uses 7 litres of water.
This suggestion is perfect for those who live on their own or are lucky enough to use different bathrooms. However, families and house/flat shares may want to consider this.
Most new toilets have two different buttons, one a short flush and one long one for those who don’t like leaving a flush between visits.
Who can forget the beginning of 2012 when a number of water companies announced there would be a hosepipe ban from the beginning of April. From that day on all it seemed to do was rain, rain, rain. As a result the water companies had to backtrack a couple of months later and lift all the hosepipe bans! I would be very surprised if the water companies issued another water ban this year, but you never know!
Investing in a water butt will save you money and allow you to continue to water your garden if another hosepipe ban is introduced. As we all know, our weather can be pretty wet and miserable at times so why not attach a water butt to your guttering and let nature do its bit. You can use this water for watering your plants and lawn, and even rinsing your car after a wash.
A dripping tap
How annoying is a dripping tap? If you have one then fix it fast as you could be wasting around 60 litres per week. It could be a simple task like replacing a washer, which will cost next to nothing. If you have had a little go at fixing it to no avail then call in a professional as it could be something more serious.
The running tap
How many of us leave the tap running whilst washing up or chopping vegetables? Whilst this might not seem that extreme you can waste 6 litres of water a minute with a running tap. If you need to rinse items, fill a bowl or the middle section of your sink with cold water instead.
On the boil
Only use the amount of water you need when boiling a kettle, it is a waste of money and energy filling a kettle to the top when you only want one cup of tea. The same applies when boiling a pan of water, only use enough to cover whatever you are cooking.
We hope you have found some of these tips useful. Just by putting one or two into use will save you money on your water bill, your energy bills and you will be doing your bit for the environment.