Utilities in <u>Widnes

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Your Complete Guide to Utilities in Widnes

If you just moved and have some questions about Widnes? Our comprehensive utilities guide to Widnes will explain in detail everything there is to know about broadband, area codes, power generation and energy distributors, and Widnes water and sewerage. Keep reading to learn everything about utilities in Widnes.

About Widnes, Cheshire

Widnes WA8 has a population of 61,464 and is located in the county of Cheshire. Cheshire has a population of 931,347 people.

Who supplies my water in Widnes?

Widnes water utilities are supplied by United Utilities. Here are the main contact numbers for United Utilities:

How to get in touch with the water supplier in Widnes

Speaking to an advisor at United Utilities is one of many options to talk about your Widnes water problems.

In the table below you will find the phone numbers for United Utilities general enquiries and emergencies.

United Utilities contact number United Utilities Emergency contact number
0345 672 2888 0345 672 3723
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Emergencies 24/7/365
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Write to United Utilities

You can also write to United Utilities, you have the choice of posting a letter or sending an email. You can even send your message through the United Utilities website.

If you prefer to send a letter to United Utilities can do so by writing to the United Utilities address below:

United Utilities Address
United Utilities, PO Box 453
Warrington
WA55 1SE

Price of water in Widnes

Water bill in Widnes

Water rates in Widnes are based on if your home has a water meter or not. It's easy to find out if your Widnes water rates are metered or not by looking at a recent water bill or by contacting your supplier. Homes with metered Widnes water rates will have a meter number listed on their water bills.

Metered Customers in Widnes

Customers who have a water meter installed at their Widnes home will pay a fixed annual charge, plus an extra charge for each cubic meter (m3) consumed. The fixed charge is to cover the essential running costs of United Utilities. Whilst the variable charges cover the consumption at your Widnes home.

Unmetered Customers in Widnes

Customers that don't have a water meter at their Widnes home have an annual charge for their water consumption. This charge is fixed, meaning your water bill will stay the same regardless of how much water consumed at your Widnes home.

The rate unmetered customers pay for water in Widnes is going to be based on the rateable value of your home. The rateable value of your Widnes water prices were determined by the local council in the 90s and will probably not have changed since then.

Should I get a water meter installed? You need to consider how much water you consume per year. If you are single, or have a small family, getting a water meter for your Widnes might work out cheaper.

Customers with bigger families that use more water will probably not benefit by getting a water meter installed.

How much is the average water bill in Widnes?

The average water bill Widnes residents are billed is £16.83 monthly, which works out at £202 per year.

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How do I pay my Widnes water bill?

First, you must sign up and register with United Utilities. After you've registered with United Utilities, you can decide how you would like to pay your bill, such as:

  • Direct Debit
  • Online payments
  • Pay over the phone
  • Bank transfer
  • Payment by cheque
  • Payment card

You may be able to choose how often you pay your Widnes bill. Whilst some customers prefer to make a single annual payment, other customers might like to set up quarterly, monthly, or even weekly payments instead. After you've set up your United Utilities account, you will be able to choose how often you recieve your water bill and how to pay for it.

Can I switch the water supplier in Widnes?

Unfortunately, your water supplier is fixed and depends on the catchment area based on your postcode. As a customer in Widnes WA8, your water supplier is United Utilities.

Since April 2017, business water customers have been able to switch water suppliers. You can find out if your business is eligible in our guide to switching water suppliers.

Widnes Water Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have answered some common questions that customers in Widnes have about their water supply.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water in Widnes

Is water from the tap in Widnes safe to drink?

Yes! The tap water is safe to drink in Widnes. You can rest assured that Widnes water meets high standards making it safe to drink. The UK Drinking Water Inspectorate has scored Widnes water quality 99.94% in overall mean zonal compliance, which means your water is safe to drink. It is not required to boil or filter Widnes water to make it drinkable.

Where does the water in Widnes come from?

There are three main sources of water that supply Widnes:

  • Surface sources - 93%
  • Groundwater sources - 6%
  • Mixed sources - 1%

Is the water hard in Widnes

While rainwater itself is relatively soft, water hardness can change through the water cycle. As rainwater filters through rocks, it picks up minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. The more minerals the water picks up, the harder is your water considered.

The water hardness in Widnes is below 60ppm, this means the water in in Widnes is rated as soft water.

What does this mean?

The water being supplied to your home in Widnes contains a minimal level of hard water minerals. soft water means your clothes should be softer after washing, and your appliances more efficient. You might also notice less limescale build-up in your appliances meaning they should not break down as often.

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Water softener isn't needed at your home in Widnes.

Widnes No Water

If you don't have any running water in your Widnes home, you need to find out if the issue is to do with your home plumbing or if the issue is within your neighbourhood in Widnes.

If there is no water at your Widnes home, is the problem no cold water or no hot water? If you don't have hot water but have cold water, the issue will be with your home plumbing and not a problem affecting Widnes.

If there is no cold water, not even a trickle, contact United Utilities for help. You can also try the following:

  1. Check for updates on the "In Your Area" sections of the United Utilities website for any information explaining the reason your home has no water.
  2. Examine the Twitter account of United Utilities, they will often tweet updates when there's a problem.
  3. Talk to your neighbours and see if they are having a problem with their water supply.
  4. Make sure your stop tap is in the open position.

Widnes water leak or flooding

Widnes water problems might include anything from a leak, a burst water main, or flooding in your Widnes home. This means it's very important you know what to do and who to contact regarding a water emergency.

If you discover flooding or a water leak outside your Widnes property, you should try to do one of the following as long as it's safe to do so:

  1. Contact United Utilities regardless if the issue relates to drinking water or wastewater.
  2. If you can go on the internet at your current location, visit the "report a leak" page on the United Utilities website and fill in the form to report the problem.

Why does the water in Widnes taste strange?

If you detect a difference in smell or taste of your Widnes water this could be down to one of the following reasons:

  1. Chlorination is a safe way to ensure hygiene throughout the pipe network.
  2. Seasonal changes can infuse the Widnes water with a somewhat earthy aroma or taste.
  3. Plumbing can cause the taste of your water to change, adding salty, metallic, or rubbery hints to Widnes water.

If you have questions about your water's taste, smell, or appearance, you should not hesitate to reach United Utilities on the contact details above.

Broadband in Widnes WA8

Widnesinternet connected globe

The broadband speed you get at your Widnes home is dependant upon several factors such as:

  • Fibre availability
  • Distance from the telephone exchange
  • Where you've placed your router
  • Using wi-fi or ethernet connection
  • Which provider you have

Test your internet speed and see if it matches the average connection speed for Widnes with our fast and simple speed test.

Did you know that the average download speed in the UK is around 62.5Mbps?

Widnes Average Download Speed Widnes Average Upload Speed
91.88 Mbps 14.85 Mbps
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The internet connection type you have can affect your download and upload speed in Widnes. An FTTP is the fastest internet connection available in the UK and is available to 31.83% of UK households.

The slowest way to access the internet is ADSL, in parts of the UK that are more remote it is the only means of connection currently available.

What should you consider when searching for a broadband provider in Widnes?

It's 2022, which means the internet is just as important as any other utility, maybe even more important. Which means picking a reliable provider for your internet could feel daunting. To ease the pressure, let's take a look at the top four points that you should consider when searching for a broadband provider in Widnes.

Availability

The first thing to consider before searching for a broadband provider in Widnes is the issue of availability. The majority of homes in Widnes can take advantage of fibre or 'superfast' broadband connections, those living in rural homes may have limited access to the type of connection.

Although, homes that have been built in the last few years will likely have be able to get ultrafast FTTH since developers often install the latest infrastructure when constructing new homes.

Type of connection

How can I connect to the internet in Widnes?

  • Fibre broadband
    • This is fastest connection that's currently available in Widnes
    • Fibre broadband is split into two categories, we call them 'Superfast' and 'Full Fibre'
    • Superfast broadband means the download speed that's at least 24 Mbps.
    • A Full Fibre broadband internet connection can currently reach speeds from 300 Mbps up to 1 Gbps.
  • ADSL or ADSL2
    • An older type of internet connection that is delivered through a standard telephone line.
    • Has a slower download speed of up to 24 Mbps.
    • High availability with for 99.9% of Widnes homes.
  • Cable
    • A similar or even faster download speed than fibre broadband.
    • Can only choose Virgin Media.
    • Availability can be limited in some parts of Widnes.
  • 4G/5G, Mobile, and Satellite Broadband
    • Speed is dependant upon the mobile signal strength in Widnes.
    • Could prove more expensive unless you have an unlimited data tariff.
    • You don't need a router if you tether the connection to your smartphone, however there are some mobile networks that restrict tethered connections.
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Widnes broadband value for money

Widnes broadband bill

You should also think about the monthly cost of broadband in Widnes. There are many providers offering a low cost deal for new customers, but the price is often for a limited period. It's important to read the small print of the offer before you commit to a internet connection in Widnes. Some providers may even increase the price during the initial contract period. In the news recently, there was a BT price hike which will be felt by millions of BT customers.

Widnes Broadband Reliability

The reliability of broadband in Widnes also needs consideration, with many people working from home either full-time or part-time, knowing you have a reliable broadband connection to keep up to date with work your work is really important.

The times when we're not working we're streaming movies or playing online games with friends that without a reliable internet connection for your Widnes home will be an important thing to consider.

Widnes broadband customer support

Finally, the customer service of your Widnes internet connection is really important. You might never need to get in touch with your internet service provider, but should the need to contact them arises then having solid customer service that deals with your query efficiently and quickly is definitely something worth considering when you choose a broadband provider in Widnes.

Broadband FAQ

Below we've answered some our the most common questions that customers in Widnes have about their internet connection.

Broadband Frequently Asked Questions

Is the internet fast in Widnes?

The average internet speed in Widnes is:

Widnes Average Download Speed Widnes Average Upload Speed
91.88 Mbps 14.85 Mbps

What do ADSL, Superfast, FTTC, FTTH, and FTTP actually mean?

Put simply, this is the way of connecting to the internet.

  • ADSL: Asymmetric digital subscriber line - a broadband connection like this has a download speed of up to 24 Mbps. However, the speed will be slower the further away you are from the telephone exchange.
  • Superfast: This is a kind of fibre broadband connection with download speeds of at least 30 Mbps.
  • FTTC: Fibre To The Cabinet - is fibre broadband that's connected to a green box on your street in Widnes, from which it is connected to your property through your existing telephone line.
  • FTTP/FTTH: Fibre To The Premises/Home - The connection is delivered using 100% fibre cables to your Widnes home. This means it's very fast and extremely reliable. Currently, 31.83% of UK home .

How fast internet should my internet be?

That will be dependant on what kind of internet user you are. Have a look at the following table for a rough guide to what sort of download speed you should choose when getting connected in Widnes.

Main internet uses Recommended Download Speed 2 devices or less
2 devices or less Web, email, working from home (WFH), light streaming, social media, etc 10-25 Mbps Broadband
Maximum of 5 devices AAll of the above, online gaming and 4K streaming 50-100 Mbps Broadband
More than 5 devices All of the above, streaming your own video content on the web or large file transfers 100+ Mbps Broadband

What's the difference between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi?

2.4ghz and 5ghz are the kinds of radio frequencies that internet routers use to transmit data to connected devices. 2.4Ghz WiFi travels further, but transmit data at slower speeds. 5Ghz WiFi signals have a smaller radius, but will transmit the data between devices at faster rates.

What's the telephone dialling code of Widnes

Corded telephone area code Widnes

The telephone area code, sometimes called the landline dialling code, for Widnes is 0151. If you're calling somebody in Widnes, and you're located in a different region, you should add 0151 to the number you're calling.

How much does an 0151 Widnes call cost?

If calls are included with your landline or mobile, the phone call will probably be included as part of your tariff. If you don't have an included calls tariff, you can expect to pay around 10p per minute, plus the call set-up charge.

If you don't know whether you have calls included in your tariff, please check with your provider before making the call so you don't find unexpected charges on your telephone bill.

How many dialling codes does the UK have? There are 645 area codes in the UK incl. Northern Ireland. UK area codes can be three, four, or five digits long.

Gas and Electricity Supply in Widnes

Residents of Widnes are able to choose their own supplier for gas and electricity, but regardless of the supplier they are billed by, the gas and electricity is going to be distributed and taken care of by the local network operator.

These network operators are officially called Distribution Network operators (DNOs) and it is these companies that own, operates and maintains the infrastructure that supplies your Widnes home to the gas and electricity networks.

More often than not you won't need to speak to the Widnes distribution network operator, but if you do, you can easily find out which DNO is responsible for Widnes in this section.

Learn more about what a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) does in our Distribution Network Operator guide

Electricity Distribution Network Operator in Widnes

The electricity distribution network operator for Widnes is SP Energy Networks - Merseyside and North Wales. You can find the SP Energy Networks - Merseyside and North Wales contact details in the table below:

SP Energy Networks - Merseyside and North Wales Contact Information
General Enquiries 0330 101 0444
Emergencies 0800 001 5400
Email customercare@spenergynetworks.com
Website https://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/
Address Customer Contact Team, SP Energy Networks, 3 Prenton Way
Prenton

There are a total of six electricity distribution network operators that cover the UK:

  1. Electricity North West
  2. Northern Powergrid
  3. SSE Networks
  4. SP Energy Networks
  5. UK Power Networks
  6. Western Power Distribution
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Power Generation near Widnes

There are no power plants within a 10 mile radius of Widnes.

Fossil Fuels

In 2021, fossil fuels accounted for 47.4% of the UK’s electricity generation. This was mostly in the form of natural gas (42%) and coal (2.7%). In addition, a small percentage was produced from fossil fuels from other sources (2.7%). The electricity produced from fossil fuels does change each year.

Nuclear Power

16.1% of electricity was generated by nuclear reactors in 2021, in the next few years we can expect this to reduce as the UK’s nuclear power stations begin to close, by 2035 there will only one nuclear power plant still producing energy. However, we can expect new nuclear reactors to be built such as Hinkley Point C which is currently being built.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy generated 40.3% of electricity in 2021, that's up from 29% in 2018. Renewable fuel sources include hydro, solar, wind, and biomass. This is expected to continue rising as the UK aims to meet its net-zero targets.

Municipalities Near Widnes

If you've ever wondered which municipalities are within reach of Widnes, in the below table you will find the five closest municipalities to Widnes.

Closest five municipalities to Widnes
Municipality Distance from Widnes
Thatto Heath 3.61 miles
Clock Face 3.61 miles
Great Sankey 3.71 miles