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When purchasing a home, most people tend to forget the responsibility of many other bills or financial commitments and focus only on the cost of their mortgage. You will need to consider maintenance of your home, energy bills, insurance, utility bills and council tax to name just a few. And with constantly rising energy prices it can be difficult to maintain all your bills. When it comes to energy bills such as electricity and gas, people shop around to try and get the best rates from different providers but with water, most homeowners tend to think there isn’t much that can be done – you can’t change your provider and the rate often remains the same, much like council tax. There are however, a few things you can do to cut those rising water bills.

Your water bill is usually based on a certain rate which reflects the value of your home, so no matter how much water you use you will pay the same monthly amount. If you chose to change to a metered supply, you could end up saving money but that all depends on your usage as you pay for the water that you use. So by attempting to reduce the amount of water you use, you could potentially save money by reducing your bills. Having a meter installed is usually a good way of encouraging you to think more carefully about the amount of water you use. The good thing about opting to have a meter installed, is that they are usually completely free and you can change back to a normal rated bill after twelve months if you don’t save any money. Contact your utility company to find out what their policies are but generally if you have more rooms than people residing in your home, you are more likely to benefit from having a meter installed.

There are many ways to reduce your water consumption if you opt for a meter. Showering instead of having a bath can save up to 45 litres of water, and a further 4 litres if you turn the tap off whilst brushing your teeth. Try and avoid a dishwasher if possible as they tend to use up to 55 litres of water as opposed to washing up in the sink which uses only a tenth of that. Also avoid watering your plants too often with a hose if you have a garden. You can use a watering can instead and simply spray the leaves. You can also reduce the amount of water used every time you flush the toilet by putting a bottle of water inside the cistern. Don’t forget to check for leaks too, as these can be around pipework that is hidden but cause your meter to continue ticking over. By speaking to your water company you can discuss your situation and work out which option is better for you, so you can soon be saving money on your water bill as well as helping the environment.

by Cormac Henderson

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