Last week we looked at how a few simple changes can help you trim valuable pennies from your supermarket bill. But what about your other monthly utilities bills, like water?
The average water bill, like that of all utilities, is not particularly cheap right now. Electricity, water and gas bills have increased by more than the rate of inflation over the last decade or more.
We need water – to wash our dishes and clothes, to shower, to drink and to water our plants. It’s a constant struggle to keep down the amount we use to save money.
Are you concerned with the high cost of your bills today? If so, read on. Here is how you can reduce your annual bill.
Change How You Pay
If you pay flat rates, you could save yourself money by switching to a meter – but only if your home situation is right for it. Water rates are calculated on assumed occupancy by number of rooms. Water providers assume that a house with three bedrooms will have four occupants – two adults and two children. If you have fewer people than rooms, then you can save money by switching to a metered set-up. This ensures that you will only pay for what you use. An average house with two bedrooms will pay the water rates for 2-3 people regardless of the number of occupants. That also means if your occupancy is higher than normal, you are better sticking with rates.
Use Water Saving Gadgets
Utility companies are under an obligation to help you reduce your spending on water. Each should offer you a choice of gadgets to do just that. Most are simple tools that don’t require any special instructions to use. You can get a shower timer, a bit like an egg timer, that helps you reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower. There is a special type of bag to go in your toilet cistern to reduce how much it fills up after flushing. Before you go buying anything, check to see whether you are entitled to free gadgets from your supplier.
Get a New Toilet
When did you last get a new toilet? If you last had a new unit installed before the year 2000, the chances are you use three times more water than you need to use. Modern toilets are more efficient than older models. Not only do you use less water because of the smaller cistern, you need less water because the flush is more powerful. You will not need multiple flushes as you sometimes need with older models.
Use a Bucket to Wash the Car
Hosepipes are amongst the least efficient appliances we use in or out of the home as far as water usage is concerned. When we are legally bound to use less because rain is lower than normal, it is called a ‘hosepipe ban’ and for good reason. Filling a bucket with water to wash the car is a lot more efficient than using a hosepipe as you can concentrate on the worst areas using a sponge, rather than simply drenching the car with the hose. Use one bucket to wash and one refill to rinse.
Use Grey Water for Plants
Plants are a lot less discerning about the quality of water they drink, and there is no real need to use fresh from the taps. The first option is to use a water butt. Connect a container to the outside of your house so that it can collect the run off from the roof. Most people put them directly over the drain that takes rainwater to the sewers. There is nothing wrong with this water when it comes to using it on your plants – it’s just rain water. Your second option is to save your bath water or washing up water for your garden plants – this is water that would otherwise be flushed away.
Have you got any tips for saving money on your water bill? Let us know in the comments section below!