Six simple steps to cut water bills in your home or business by £1,450

A dripping tap
-Credit: (Image: CheshireLive)

UK householders and business bosses have been offered six simple ways to significantly reduce their water bills. By carrying out these checks, you could save at least £1,450 on your water charges.

We are all seeing our utility bills go up and the average annual water and sewerage charge across England and Wales households is now £473 for 2024-2025, equivalent to £1.29 a day. This includes £224 for water and £249 for sewerage.

Severn Trent, the Coventry-based water company that serves 4.6 million households and businesses across the Midlands and Wales, says its average household bill for water and sewerage this year is £438 per year or £1.20 per day, which it says is one of the lowest in England. In areas covered by other suppliers, bills can be far higher - with a £529 annual average for Anglian and a £578 average for Wessex.


If you've seen your water bills go up and want to do all you can to bring them down, here are some things to try. Business utility comparison site Clearsight Energy has outlined some practical ways people can cut costs at home or in their business.

1. Fix leaking or dripping taps: save up to £398.67

Fixing a dripping tap is one of the simplest yet most effective changes you can make. reports that a dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water annually, equating £22.12 per tap.

Should it progress to a trickle, a tap can waste up to 175,000 litres yearly, costing around £398.67, according to a study from Tap Warehouse. A failed washer is the most common cause of a dripping tap and replacing it can be done in five simple steps:

  1. Cover the drain (plughole) to prevent anything falling down it

  2. Turn off the water

  3. Remove the top and valve

  4. Replace the washer

  5. Replace the tap

2. Energy-efficient dishwashers: Save up to £78.66

Dishwashers can consume a lot of water and energy, especially in the hospitality industry. Upgrading to energy-efficient dishwashers can drastically reduce this usage. Compared to a standard machine, they use around 30 per cent less water, which equates to an annual saving of £40.16, and 12 per cent less energy, which equates to around £38.50, when used daily.

According to Choice, a consumer advocacy group, washing dishes by hand can use up to 100 litres of water. However, older dishwashers, though not efficient by today's standards, only use about half the water of washing up by hand, with newer models using as little as 8.4 litres per cycle.

Homes or businesses without any form of dishwasher should consider investing in one, even an older pre-owned model, due to these potential savings. Those who already have a dishwasher should opt, where possible, to wash full loads only and use the water-saving eco setting if there is one. If you have an off-peak energy option, such as Economy 7, you should make the most of it and put the dishwasher on at night.

3. Low-water-use toilets: Save £56.95 annually per person

Toilets are another area where you can make significant water savings. Traditional toilets use a large amount of water per flush, up to 14 litres. Modern low-water-use toilets can reduce this by around 80 per cent. This results in savings of up to 25,000 litres, or around £56.95, of water per person annually. For a family of four that's £227.80.

Dual-flush toilets, for example, offer two flush options for different volumes of waste, allowing users to choose a lighter flush when appropriate. Installing these can lower your water usage and reduce your overall water bill while maintaining the same level of sanitation and comfort for employees and customers.

For those with super-strict budgets, installing a water displacement device can be a viable option, as these devices effectively cause the cistern to underfill and use slightly less water per flush.

4. Rainwater harvesting systems: £306 savings on average

A rainwater harvesting system allows you to collect and store rainwater for non-consumable uses, such as watering plants, toilet flushing, and cleaning. This reduces reliance on tap water and can lead to significant savings, particularly in regions with high rainfall.

A great first step in rainwater harvesting is installing a water butt which can be purchased for as little as £34 on Amazon. This allows for testing the reclaimed water process without the costs associated with a complete system install.

More extensive harvesting solutions can help save 40-50 per cent off the average home water bill, which equates to up to £306 for a family of four. Considering that the average home uses 30 per cent of its water to flush the toilet, businesses could see significant savings by using rainwater.

5. Leak detection systems: Potential to save £1,000s

It's thought that undetected leaks lead to three billion litres of water wastage every day across England alone, according to Global Citizen. The European Commission estimates that smart leak detection technologies can save up to 50 per cent of public water supplies. Installing leak detection systems helps identify and repair leaks promptly, with some systems automatically shutting off the water supply.

As a bonus, insurers encourage using leak detection devices, and businesses may be eligible for further discounts if they have one installed. A great starting point for businesses and homeowners who cannot commit to a leak detection method is to inspect visible plumbing for leaks and fix them promptly. This helps avoid any surprise repair fees from water damage that could happen.

UKLeakDetection reports that repairing a leak in kitchen walls and tiles can cost up to £10,000, and correctly drying concrete floors can cost as much as £1,000.

6. Aerators for taps: Save up to £110.17 per person

Installing aerators on taps can reduce water flow while maintaining the same pressure. Aerators mix air with water, making the flow feel stronger while using less water. They are easy to install and can be fitted to most standard taps.

Considering that an office worker is estimated to use 75 litres of water each day and a restaurant uses around 265 litres per seat daily, business owners have many opportunities to save. According to online aggregator platform, taps with aerators use up to 50 per cent less water. This equates to savings of up to £110.17 per person per year - which means a family of four would save £440.68.

Implementing these steps for a family of four would save just over £1,450 a year even without the fifth suggestion of using leak detection systems.

A spokesperson from Clearsight Energy said: "By implementing these simple and effective changes, homes and businesses can drastically reduce their water consumption and save on operational costs. Tap aerators and energy-efficient dishwashers are just a couple of the many ways companies can be more water-wise without compromising service quality.

"It's important to be aware of the potential water savings they can generate without any upfront cost, such as a simple check of visible plumbing for obvious leaks and running dishwashers in water-saving modes with full loads."

David Black, CEO of water regulator Ofwat said: "Over the last few years, the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis have had a significant impact on household finances. While water bills will vary depending on the circumstances of each household, the average increase for 2024/25 will be £27.40, equivalent to about £2.30 a month.

"We are very aware, for those who are already struggling, this will be a real worry. As such, water companies must do all they can to protect those who are most in need of a helping hand. In Ofwat's latest cost of living research, we found that awareness of the support available, such as moving to a social tariff or on to a water meter, has continued to remain very low.

"We would encourage anyone who is worrying about how to pay a water bill to contact their water company and find out what schemes are on offer that could reduce bills, smooth payments, or help with debt.

“Through Covid and the cost of living crisis, some water companies have consciously kept average bills lower than they would have been. Bills have remained below inflation easing the impact on customers, while continuing to invest in the network. This year, some of that previously withheld revenue has been added to bills, taking the average to 6.1% or £27.40 a year. Even accounting for this increase, bills in real terms will be lower than they were in 2019/20."

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