Water bill seems too high?

Hi there,

Me and my boyfriend have recently moved into our first house where we actually have to pay bills (a tiny 2 bed semi detached) And I have just gotten our first water bill through based on our meter readings and it is a lot higher than I thought it would be. I don't expect we are particularly wasteful but my boyfriend is between jobs currently and I'm concerned him being at home all day is adding on a lot to our bills. Anglian water want to charge us a direct debit of £39 a month. For just the two of us I was expecting it to be a lot less.12 showers a week all together but my boyfriend also has a tendency to occasionally shower twice a day (which I don't like) clothes washing 3 times a week, no dishwasher, and I normally have 1 bath a week. I've seen threads mentioning families with 4 or 5 members with dishwashers will do 7 loads of washing a week pay the same amount as us so now I'm worried. We did have a leaking tap the day we moved in that took them a month and a half to fix - it had the steadiest tiny little stream of water running from it constantly that was hardly noticeable but could that run up a huge bill? Im currently doing the no water for an hour test to see if the meter changes at all but if it was caused by the previous leak that has since been fixed so I wouldn't know.

If anyone can give me an idea if what we are paying is good or bad or if I was just stupidly optimistic about the amount we used please let me know!


  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,606 Forumite
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    edited 13 May 2017 at 1:20PM
    If you've got a water meter, then go and read it yourself, try doing it weekly for several weeks to see how much you are using. Just guessing that you don't use much isn't ever so helpful.

    You'd be surprised how much water a shower can use, say 10 litres per minute for 10 minutes = 100 litres. I'm with Anglian and that would cost 45p per shower.

    A bath takes around 100 litres or more, especially if you like a full one, so that's another 45p so it's easy to see that it wouldn't be hard to ramp up £6-7 a week (£25 or more a month), just for showers.

    Add in the washing machine, other washing (your hands, teeth, dishes etc), flushing the loo, tea, coffee and cooking so it all mounts up

    Power showers can use even more. So it might be worth seeing if you can take shorter showers, fewer of them or even fitting a flow restrictor or low flow shower head - some water companies give them away for free.

    Likewise, don't wash stuff or yourself under a running tap, only put as much water in the kettle as you need and only use the washing machine with full loads - it uses the same amount of water and leccy when it's half loaded as when it's full.

    By reading you meter freqently yourself, you should be able to see how well you are doing at reducing your consumption. You could also send the meter readings to your water co so they wouln't need to estimate your consumption
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
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    Have Anglian used the same start meter readings the same as you took when you moved in? Otherwise you could be paying for the previous occupant's consumption.

    A 'little stream' of water from a tap could waste several litres an hour. For the 6 weeks it took to fix the leak it could add considerably to your bill.
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,968 Forumite
    Homepage Hero First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    If you have recently moved in did you take a meter reading then? If not your water company may be going by the meter reading the previous user gave (If they gave one) and that could of been incorrect.

    You mention that you don't have a dishwasher but washing up every day several times a day often can mount up to more than an actual dishwasher being used 2 or 3 times a week. A lot of dishwashers are really economical water wise these days. I know mine is.

    The power shower has already been mentioned and they can be hefty water users especially if it is twice a day.

    Do you flush the loo every time you use it? The size of your cistern maybe one of the larger sized ones and if flushed after every use the water use there will mount up especially if someone is home all day.

    Not running the tap when cleaning your teeth is a good idea if you don't do that already.


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  • Good info here

    Also check the cisterns for leaks as a simple toilet leaking can double your bill on a meter!
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