Water bills are actually one of the easier type of bills to organise. Each area of the UK has just one supplier of water for the area, so there’s no need to hunt for the best deal.
There are still a few steps to follow in order to get your water bill set up.
In this guide
- Find your supplier
- Contact your supplier
- Find out if you’re on a metered or standard tariffs
- Choose your payment option
- Water saving tips
- Landlord’s responsibility
Find your supplier
Because only one supplier operates in each area, it’s pretty simple to find who will be supplying your water. Do this on the day you move in, to keep things simple.
Contact your supplier
Once you’ve found your supplier, you need to contact them and set yourself up as a new customer. You can do this online or over the phone.
To complete your customer set up forms you will need:
- Your name and address
- Date moving
- New address
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Bank details – if you wish to set up a Direct Debit
- Meter reading – if applicable
Find out if you’re on a metered or standard tariff
The payment methods for water vary depending on whether your supply is metered or not. Standard tariffs are much more common than metered. However, some landlords like to make sure they’re not paying bills when the house is empty over holidays etc. so your house might be metered.
What is a metered tariff?
Water meters are very similar to any metered utility like gas or electric. A water meter simply records the amount of water you’ve used and charges you accordingly. Generally, the tariff can be higher than the usual standard tariff, but they are free to fit and if you follow some water saving tips, could save you a bit of money.
If you’re on a metered tariff, make sure to check the reading as soon as you move in.
The standard rate varies from house-to-house. You usually pay every six months.
What is a standard tariff?
The average standard tariff water bill in England and Wales is £405.
Standard tariffs are based on a government survey which estimates approximately how much water your house will use.
You usually pay for these either monthly or quarterly. If you contact your supplier you can set-up direct debits.
How to pay
Almost every water supplier offers multiple ways to pay your water bills:
- Direct debit
Find whichever is best for you. It is worth contacting the supplier and getting all your housemates names on the bill – share some of that responsibility!
Water saving tips
- Showers instead of baths – a 5 minute shower uses about 40 litres of water, which is about half of a standard bath.
- Turn off the tap when cleaning your teeth – a running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
- Fill up your washing machine – Get those washing machines nice and full because they use anywhere between 136 to 180 litres of water! You want to get your money’s worth every wash.
- Don’t use your toilet as a bin – Yeah, you know who you are! Cotton Q-tips and the like go in the bin!
- Fix dripping taps – if you see one, let your landlord know.
- Soak pots and pans – Instead of letting the water run whilst scraping them clean, leave them in the sink to soak for a bit – hey, anything to delay having to wash up.
- Use a wash basin – Basins are smaller than sinks (obviously) so it’s much easier to use less water.
- Cook food in as little water as possible – This actually helps retain more nutrients anyway. No, pizza doesn’t count.
Is my landlord ultimately responsible for the water bill?
Nope. Just because your landlord owns the house does not mean they are responsible for the bills inside, including bills from the previous tenant. That’s why it’s so important to organise your bills as soon as you can. Make sure you check all your utility meters, and take a reading to stop any issues with your energy providers.