Is your water bill higher than you expected?

If you have a water meter, and you’ve received a bill which is higher than normal, don’t panic – there could be a simple explanation.

When bills increase, or your Direct Debit payments go up, it’s often because you’re using more water. Remember, your water meter records all the water you use, which helps us to calculate your bills. So before you give us a call, please check the four steps below to see if this helps to identify what may have caused an increase in your water usage.

Step 1: are there more people living in your home?

  • Do you have a new baby in the family?
  • Do you have a son or daughter home from university?
  • Any relatives staying with you for an extended period of time?
  • Is a member of the family spending more time at home due to illness or retirement?

If not, let’s go to step 2…

Step 2: do you have any new water-hungry appliances in your home?

  • Have you had a power shower fitted? Power showers use a lot more water than standard electric showers
  • Have you had a new combined washer/dryer fitted? You may be surprised to learn they use a lot more water than a standard washing machine as the washer/dryer uses cold water as part of the drying process
  • Are you using washing machines or dishwashers more than usual (often due to extra people staying in your home)?

If not, let’s go to step 3…

Step 3: have you been using more water outside your home?

  • Have you been using a hosepipe or sprinkler in the garden? Sprinklers use as much water in one hour as a family of four will use in one day!
  • Do you have any new water features in your garden, such as a pond?
  • Are you having any building work done (such as an extension) which has led to more water being used by your builders?

If not, let’s go to step 4…

Step 4: do you have any sneaky leaks?

  • Have you checked outside to see if water is leaking out of any overflow pipes from water tanks in the loft?
  • Does your toilet have a modern cistern that overflows into the bowl (rather than through an overflow pipe)? If so, please check to make sure the cistern is not constantly overflowing, as this will be wasting a lot of water.
  • Have you checked all taps (including any outside taps) to make sure they are not leaking water?
  • Have you done a leak test? Read our guide on how to do a simple test to spot those sneaky leaks (PDF 153 KB opens in a new window) .

And finally….

Was your previous bill an estimate? If so, we may have underestimated the amount of water you use, which means your most recent bill will appear much higher than your previous estimated bill.

Still not figured out what could have caused your bill to increase? Then please give us a call on 0345 672 2999, we’ll be happy to help.

Why not try our online water calculator? Answer a few simple questions and we'll estimate what your bill should be. We'll also give you some handy tips on how to use less water – helping to reduce both your water and energy bills too.