Water Bills set to Plummet
Water companies in the UK have recently promised that consumers will see a price drop by 2025. The plans laid out for water customers in England and Wales are part of a pledge by water regulators OFWAT to lower water bills by £15-£25 a year from 2020. Every five years OFWAT review their pricing policy, and have said that they aim to reduce bills by 4% to make water more affordable.
Water costs have risen sharply since privatisation in 1989. In fact, bills have climbed above inflation by around 40%. OFWAT chief executive Regina Finn says:
“We understand times are hard and we have listened to what customers have told us. They want a safe, reliable water supply at a reasonable cost. People can shop around for the best deal on many things, but not water.”
You can save on your water bill by investing in more water efficient appliances and water saving gadgets, such as shower timers. You can also save water by collecting rain water and using it to wash the car in the garden.
How are Water Bills Calculated?
The amount you pay for your water will depend on where you live. There are regional differences in domestic water rates, and your bills will be based on the area you are in and the water in your region. The cost will include your water supply, plus other things such as maintaining water quality. Some consumers have opted to install a water meter. This can prove to be cheaper, depending on how much water you use.
Unmetered water customers are charged based on the rateable value (RV) of their homes. This means the bill is a set amount, covering the cost of domestic water and sewage, regardless of how much water is used. Rateable values are based on property assessments taken between 1973 and 1990, as well as the size and type of building. If your home was built after 1990, it will probably have been fitted with a water meter instead.
Metered properties have their water readings taken from a water meter, and you will be charged for the water units that you use. Water meters only really save you water if your usage is low. If you’re considering installing a water meter, there are a variety of factors which should influence your decision.
- How often do you use your washing machine and dishwasher?
- How many people in your home take daily baths or showers?
- What do you currently pay for water?
Water meters can be installed for free by your water provider. If you find a water meter doesn’t suit your needs, you can switch back to unmetered bills as long as you do so within 12 months of the initial installation.
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