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Use less water

Did you know that your water use contributes to your energy bills? Find out how to save water at home, helping to lower your water bill if you’re on a meter and cut your energy use.

Many of us may not realise that our water use at home contributes to our energy bills and carbon emissions.

Using water wisely at home can lower your water bill (if you’re on a water meter), cut your energy bills and reduce your impact on the environment.

Water saving tips

Did you know that the average UK household uses around 345 litres of water every day? That’s 145 litres per head, every day.

Follow these quick and easy water saving tips to reduce the amount of water you use at home, helping to lower your household bills and cut your carbon footprint.

  • Make sure that dishwashers and washing machines are full before you use them, and ensure you regularly use the most efficient water and energy settings.
  • Fit a dual flush on your toilet to save around 8,000 litres of water a year in a four-person household.
  • Use a bowl to wash up rather than a running tap. You only need to run a typical tap for 95 seconds to fill a washing up bowl.
  • If you need to rinse utensils or wash vegetables, use cold water if possible and don’t leave the tap running.
  • Fit an aerator onto your kitchen tap to reduce the amount of water you use, without affecting how it washes or rinses. You could save up to £30 a year.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving – you could be wasting more than 10 litres a minute by leaving it running.
  • Stop dripping taps by changing washers when they wear out – leaks can waste thousands of litres a year.
  • Watch out for power showers, as these often use more water than a full bath.

Hot water savings

Hot water accounts for 12% of a typical household’s energy bill, so using hot water wisely can be a great way to save money on your bills. Heating water in our homes also accounts for around 5% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.

Simple ways to manage your hot water use at home:

  • Insulate your hot water tank and any exposed hot water pipes to save £40 a year on your energy bills.
  • Set your controls to give you enough hot water at the right temperature, when you want it. We suggest a minimum of 60 degrees.
  • Switch to a water efficient shower head and save £45 a year on hot water costs and an extra £25 on your water bill if you have a meter (based on a typical family).
  • Set your washing machine to 30 degrees to use around 57% less electricity than washing at higher temperatures.
  • Reduce your washing machine use by one wash a week for a year and wash at 30 to save around £34 on your bills.
  • Keep your shower time to just four minutes and save around £95 a year on your energy bills.
  • Swap just one bath a week with a four-minute shower and save £20 a year on your bills.

For more ways to save water at home, visit the Waterwise website. They have tips to help you save in the bathroom, kitchen and garden.

Help with your water bill

If you’re struggling to pay for your water, or want help understanding or sorting out your bill, all water companies have measures in place to help:

  • Water Direct is a Department of Work and Pensions scheme that helps you pay water bills through your benefits payments.
  • Breathing Space is a pause in payments while you take action to get on top of debts.
  • Ask your water company to set up a payment plan if you’re struggling to pay your bill.

There are schemes available to help reduce your water bill if you have high usage or are on a low income.

WaterSure is a scheme provided by all water suppliers. 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 three or more school-age children. You also need to be on a water meter or be waiting to have one installed.

Discounts on your water bill vary by supplier, but if your household income is below £20,000 and you are on benefits, you may be eligible for up to 50% off your water bill. Contact your water supplier to ask about their discounted tariff.

To find out more, check your water bill (if you have one) to see who provides your water. If you don’t have a bill, the Water UK website has a postcode checker that will tell you your supplier.

Cold Weather

There are lots of simple measures you can take to protect your home in cold weather:

  • Insulate your pipes – this will not only reduce your hot water bill, but will also reduce the chance of burst pipes in cold weather.
  • Look after your radiators – bleed your radiators regularly to keep them working efficiently all winter.
  • Clear drains – keep your drains and gutters clear to prevent blockages and leaks.

For more advice on looking after your home in cold weather, visit here.