Martin Lewis: It's time to tackle the forgotten utility - can you save £400/yr on your water bill?
Water is the big, forgotten utility bill that many ignore. But with a combination of water saving freebies and switching how you're billed, many can save large, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has explained in the seventh episode of this season's The Martin Lewis Money Show. So 'water' you waiting for? See Martin's top tips below.
The clip above has been taken from The Martin Lewis Money Show on Thursday 4 November 2021, with the kind permission of ITV Studios. All rights reserved. You can turn on subtitles by selecting the keyboard image at the bottom right of the video. You can also watch the full episode on the ITV Hub.
Martin's rough rule of thumb: Do have more or the same number of bedrooms than people in your home? You may be able to save with a meter
If the answer is "yes", then having a water meter installed, which is free in England and Wales, could save you money on your bill. This is because water bills are usually based your home's 'rateable value' - so the bigger it is, the more you pay. In comparison, with a meter the bill depends simply on how much water is used. So the fewer people, the less is used – and the lower the bill.
Martin suggested viewers use the Consumer Council for Water's free calculator to see whether they can save, and how much. He added: "If they [your water company] say you can't have a meter fitted then you can ask for what's called an assessed charge, which is roughly equivalent to what you'd pay on a water meter. And if that's cheaper than the water rates, then it's a definite winner there."
One viewer saved £400/yr getting a water meter
Martin's co-host Angellica Bell spoke of several success stories where households had saved money by getting a water meter. She said: "Now Martin, you talked about water meters back in January and since that time, we have had so many successes, people who have saved hundreds and hundreds of pounds."
Angellica described how one viewer, called Debbie, had contacted the show on social media to say she'd saved £402/yr by switching to a water meter:
Grab water saving freebies including £20 shower heads and £5 tap inserts
Another of Martin's key tips was to take full advantage of the many water-saving freebies now available. He suggested viewers put their postcode into the Save Water Save Money website to see what free gadgets they could get - as it depends on which water company you're with.
These include shower heads worth £20 – which could save you £30/yr on heating bills alone – or tap inserts worth £5, with both of these limiting the amount of water which flows through them. Another of the freebies highlighted by Martin was the 'Buffaloo' bag, which can be placed in a toilet cistern if it doesn't have separate big and small flush buttons, reducing the amount of water being flushed.
And as Martin explained, these not only make your home greener, but can help you save money on your energy bills too. He said: "Remember, it doesn't just cut the amount of water you use, but so much of the water we use is heated that it cuts your energy use too... if you're on a water meter you get the double saving."
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