MSE News

Water and sewerage charges to rise by up to 20% on average – here's what's happening where you live

The majority of households in England, Scotland and Wales will see water and sewerage charges rise from April. However, prices vary depending on where you live, and not everyone will see an increase.

We've got a full breakdown below, but to summarise:

  • In England and Wales, the average forecast increase is £28 (6.2%) a year, taking a typical annual bill from £445 to £473, according to industry body Water UK. Exact changes vary depending on where you live in England and Wales. You'll see any changes in your April bill. 

  • In Scotland, average increases of £35.95 a year (8.8%) will take force from 1 April, according to national supplier Scottish Water. 

  • In Northern Ireland, there are currently no domestic water charges – though plans to potentially introduce these in future are currently being consulted on. 

For help reducing these costs, see below as well as our Cut your water bills guide.

In England and Wales, prices will vary depending on where you live

The table below shows how average forecast water and sewerage charges are set to change in England and Wales from April:

Water and sewerage firms

Firm 2023/24 cost 2024/25 cost Change in cost
Anglian £489 £529 £40 (8%)
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water £512 £492 -£20 (-4%)
Hafren Dyfrdwy £362 £433 £71 (20%)
Northumbrian £387 £422 £35 (9%)
Severn Trent £411 £438 £27 (7%)
South West (1) £488 £486 -£2 (-0.4%)
Southern £428 £479 £51 (12%)
Thames £456 £471 £15 (3%)
United Utilities £446 £481 £35 (8%)
Wessex £489 £548 £59 (12%)
Yorkshire £440 £467 £27 (6%)

Water-only firms

Here, you'll be billed for sewerage separately by one of the companies above

Firm  2023/24 cost  2024/25 cost  Change in cost
Affinity (central region) £183 £194 £11 (6%)
Affinity (east region) £219 £241 £22 (10%)
Affinity (south-east region) £248 £269 £21 (8%)
Bournemouth £143 £146 £3 (2%)
Bristol £215 £222 £7 (3%)
Cambridge £161 £163 £2 (1%)
Essex and Suffolk £256 £280 £24 (9%)
Portsmouth £118 £120 £2 (2%)
SES Water £217 £242 £25 (12%)
South East £240 £245 £5 (2%)
South Staffs £173 £178 £5 (3%)

Figures are averages across all customers of each firm and are estimated based on forecast data provided by water companies to Water UK. (1) Since April 2013, South West Water customers have benefited from a government contribution, which reduces bills by £50 a year. This £50 reduction is applied to the combined average bill in this table. Without the government contribution, South West Water's combined average bill would be about £536.

Water and sewerage charges will rise by almost 9% in Scotland

In Scotland, water and sewerage prices depend on your council tax band and are generally paid alongside your council tax. Households in Scotland will see water and waste charges increase by an average of £35.95 a year (8.8%) from 1 April.

You can find a full breakdown of the 2024/25 charges by council tax band on Scottish Water's website.

Our top tips for saving on your water bill

Households are locked in to using the water company that provides for their area, meaning that unlike energy and broadband, you can't switch away if you're unhappy. But there are still ways to cut down your bill:

  • Switch to a free water meter. If you live in England or Wales and there are more bedrooms in your home than people, getting a free water meter could help you save £100s as you only pay for what you use instead of a fixed amount. To get a water meter installed, head to your provider's website and see if you can apply – you'll usually need to fill in an application form – or give it a call and ask.

    In Scotland, it's not free to have a water meter installed (it's actually quite pricey), so you're probably better off sticking to the estimated payments.

  • Ask for an 'assessed charge bill'. Those living in England or Wales who can't get a water meter should look into getting an 'assessed charge bill'. This is worked out on details such as how many people live in your home, but varies from company to company. You could also consider applying for a social tariff. See our Cut your water bills guide for more info.

  • Check if you're owed a sewerage rebate. If your home isn't connected to the public sewer, you don't need to pay waste water charges – see our MSE News story for how to check and challenge your bills.

  • Try cutting your usage. See if you can get free water-saving gadgets. And see MoneySavers' top tips for using less water

  • Struggling to pay? Contact your supplier. All companies offer some kind of support – this can be anything from providing repayment plans, discounts or even a cap on how much you pay. 

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