Is it cheaper to have a water meter or pay a fixed rate? - Fix Bdsthanhhoavn

Is it cheaper to have a water meter or pay a fixed rate?

Water meter and a tap

With energy costs rising, you may be thinking about your water usage differently (Picture: Getty)

With Britons finding ways to pinch pennies however they can with the rising cost of living, you may find yourself thinking more about your water usage than you would normally.

You can’t switch between water providers, so you’re limited in what you can do to cut how much you pay.

But one thing you can decide between is installing a water meter or paying a fixed rate.

With a fixed rate, your bills are estimated so you pay a fixed amount depending on your home’s size and the amount of water used is irrelevant.

With a water meter, you pay for what you use.

But which one works out cheaper?

Here is everything you need to know.

Is it cheaper to have a water meter or pay a fixed rate?

Simply put – it depends.

In November 2021, Martin Lewis explained a quick way to check if you’d benefit from getting a water meter to ITV viewers.

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He said that, as a rule of thumb, if there are fewer people living in your home than bedrooms, you should save money with a water meter.

‘So three bedrooms, two people, you would say yes. Water bills are based on the value of your house, the rateable value,’ he said.

‘So the bigger it is, the more you pay, whereas meters, depend on how much you use. The less people, the less you use.’

To find out whether this would be worthwhile for you, you can use CCW’s free online water meter calculator.

It will ask questions about your water usage and uses the answers to calculate how much you would pay with a water meter.

For a more accurate reading, you can contact your water company for information on your water usage and costs.

A water meter

Your water provider will be able to give you the best information on your water usage (Picture: Getty)

To find out who your water supplier is, use this handy postcode checker on Water UK, which allows you to find out the company supplying your home.

Simply type in your postcode and it will give you details on who your water supplier is and how to contact them.

How do you switch to a water meter?

To get a water meter installed, first you need to head over to your water provider’s website and apply.

You can fill in an application form online, or call them and do it over the phone.

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland it’s free to have a water meter installed and they can be fitted inside and outside your home.

In Scotland, Scottish Water will pay for the meter itself, however, you will be charged for all other costs involved in installing it.

The installation costs of an above-ground meter vary from £195 to £665, but the typical 20mm meter costs about £222 to install, according to The Herald.

Once installed, your supplier should give you an information pack about your new charges and update your online account.

How else can you save money on your water bill?

You can also save money by investing in water-saving gadgets for your home, such as shower heads that regulate water usage, tap inserts, and shower timers.

A woman drying her hair after being in the bath tub

It may be time to cut down on the hours you spend in the tub (Picture: Getty)

These gadgets are up for grabs for free on the Save Money Save Water website, where you can type in your details to see if you apply for the offer based on your water company.

Changing up your habits can also help you cut costs.

MoneySavingExpert offers these top tips to help preserve water and save money:

  • Have a quick shower rather than a long soak in the tub
  • Save your washing up for one wash
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
  • Steam your veggies instead of boiling them
  • Fill up empty bottles while you wait for the tap to heat up and use them around the house to water plants or for the kettle
  • Use rainwater for flushing the loo
  • Fix leaky taps
  • Turn off the tap when you shower

You can also contact your water provider to see what help they offer when it comes to paying bills, such as reduced rates for those on low income.


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