- Water bills to rise by an average of 2% or £8 a year from 1st April – average household will pay £393 a year for water and sewerage
- Increase follows the winter’s price rises from the big six energy suppliers, which saw the average household energy bill rocket to £1,265 a year
- Supplier lottery – Thames Water customers will see their bills go up as much as 3.4% while those with South West Water will see bills lowered by 3%
- Families now face paying £1,658 a year on water, sewerage and energy alone – £61 more than last year.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “This jump in water bills is simply adding to the steady stream of money being drained from consumers. It follows price hikes from the big six energy suppliers and leaves households paying an eye-watering £1,658 a year on water, sewerage and energy alone.
“This just adds further pressure on the millions of homes struggling to make ends meet. Almost three quarters of us have gone without heating at some point this winter to cut costs and over a third have reported that it is affecting our quality of life. The fact that we now have to find an additional £61 a year to pay for essential utilities could leave many more of us feeling forced to compromise our health and well-being in order to cope.
“Some homes will be facing higher increases than others, depending on who their supplier is, so it really is a postcode lottery when it comes to the new prices. Thames Water customers are likely to be hardest hit, while South West Water customers will actually see their bills go down.
“It is encouraging to hear some water firms committing to cutting bills from April next year and we could see prices fall up to 5% between 2015 and 2020 – but this is cold comfort to homes who will see their bills increase from Monday.
“This is why it is so important for us to make sure we are not paying over the odds for our essential services. There is a difference of almost £300 between the cheapest and the most expensive energy tariff – and while you can’t switch water supplier, you can move to a water meter, which could save you £50 a year. It’s well worth looking at how to cut household bills – a few simple steps today could stop your hard earned cash being flushed away tomorrow.”
Pros and cons of being on a water meter:
- If you are on a meter, you only pay for what you use, which means that if you cut back on the amount you use, you will save money.
- If you switch to a water meter and find that you are not saving money or are unhappy with the change, you can switch back to unmeasured charging within 12 months.
- The general rule of thumb: if there are less people in your house than bedrooms (e.g. two people living in a four bedroom family home) then you could save money by switching to a water meter.
- For larger families, being on a water meter may not be cost effective as your water consumption may be high. Customers living in compulsory metering areas will need support in regulating and reducing consumption.