How to reduce your water bill is a question that many households seek an answer to. Whereas you can switch mobile or energy provider for a better rate, when it comes to water you are forced to rely on the water company who supplies your area – and pay their rates.
The only way to reduce your water bill is therefore through cutting the amount of water your household uses. Here are seven tips which can help you on your way to cheaper water bills.
Take a shower rather than a bath
One of the easiest ways in which you can reduce your water bill is by taking a shower rather a bath. The average shower uses less than half the amount of water compared to a bath – 35 litres against 80 litres to be precise.
Think of those numbers spread over a week or a month. If two baths a day are run in your household every day for seven days, you will be rattling through 1120 litres of water a week or 34,720 litres a month. In contrast, two showers a day will use just 490 litres a week or 15,190 litres a month.
You can further reduce your water usage by shortening the length of time you spend in the shower. Jumping in, getting the job done and jumping out again can cut water bills even further.
Turn off the tap whilst you brush your teeth
Turning off the taps whilst you brush your teeth has long been used as the standard response to how to reduce your water bill – and why not, because it is such an effective way to cut water waste.
We have got more numbers for you to back it up. If five people leave the tap running whilst brushing their teeth for the recommended time of two minutes twice a day, that results in 20 litres of water pouring straight down the sink.
You do not need to be a mathematician to see that is 140 litres of water wasted. There might be extenuating circumstances as to why you are unable to follow the other six tips in this article, but there is no excuse for leaving the tap running whilst brushing your teeth – and yet research suggests that one in three of us do exactly that. Turn it off and start saving money.
Check your pipes for leaks and fix any that you find
Leaks can cost you a serious amount of money. Drips from a leaky faucet might not seem like a major issue, but leave that water to drip, drip, drip over weeks and months and the litres that you lose soon start to add up.
Which is why you should attend to any leaking pipes as soon as you spot a problem. A pipe repair kit enables the user to fix live leaks permanently within 30 minutes without any formal training – and at a fraction of the cost of hiring a plumber.
It is also a good idea to check your property’s pipework systems for leaks that might otherwise go undetected. Hidden problems can prove costly, leading to an increase in water bills with no obvious reason to the bill payer as to why usage has gone up.
The easiest way to check your home for a leaking pipe is to turn off all the taps and then check your water metre. If the metre is showing that water is still being used despite there being nothing through which it should be running, then you have a leak somewhere.
If this is the case, then locating the leaking pipe and repairing it will reduce the amount of water you are wasting and with it, your bills.
Reduce the amount of water wasted by your toilet
With climate change and saving the environment being so high on people’s priorities, most toilet manufacturers are now producing systems which use as little water as possible.
In toilets made since 2001, that is an average of four to six litres per flush. With newer, dual flush toilets, that figure can drop to as little as 2.6 litres per flush.
The 20th century was a less enlightened time when it came to saving water. Toilets made pre-2001 instead use anywhere between 7.5 litres and 9 litres per flush. That is a lot of water just to get rid of waste.
One answer to reducing the amount of water wasted through flushing would be to flush the toilet less. While saving up your flushes for once or twice a day may work for some households, the vast majority will not want to entertain the idea of leaving their toilets unflushed after use.
Thankfully, there is an alternative. The humble water-displacement device sits in the cistern of a toilet and reduces the amount of water used per flush. Water-displacement devices are easy to fit and can cut toilet water usage by 13 litres per day.
Ditch the dishwasher and wash up by hand
The dishwasher was first invented in 1850 by an American man called Joel Houghton. His device was very different to the appliances that can be found in 75% of homes today; it took until the 1970s for modern dishwashers to start to appear in domestic properties.
There is no doubting that dishwashers have made life easier – but they are also responsible for a lot of wasted water. The average dishwasher gets through 55 litres of water with every cycle. Filling a washing up bowl and cleaning the dishes by hand requires just six litres.
Manage the water used in your garden
Your garden does not have to be the Chelsea Flower Show to require a serious amount of water to maintain it. Even a small back garden with a handful of rose bushes can start eating into a water budget.
If you can cut back on your watering, then do. The average garden hose pipe rattles through 10 litres of water per minute. Plants and grass do not need watering every day, so by cutting down on the frequency with which you water, you can start saving money.
An even more effective way of keeping your garden maintained is by capturing rainwater to do the job. A water butt installed in the garden can capture rain – and let’s face it, the United Kingdom gets plenty of that – and store it for you to use on your plants at a later date.
Water from the sky is free, so why not make the most of it?
Do you really need to clean your car?
If a hose pipe uses 10 litres of water per minute, then imagine how much is wasted when you hose down your car. You might think that you need a vehicle that sparkles and shines, but is it necessary?
A spot of dirt never hurt anyone – whereas cleaning your car can really hurt your water bill.