Average Water Bill UK: How Much Should You Pay?
How much is the average monthly UK water bill? How is the average monthly water bill calculated and how can I reduce my spending? Read on to find out.
How Much Is the Average Water Bill in the UK?
The average UK Water bill has increased for 2022 to £419, adding an extra £7 to the annual cost for water and sewerage services. Although this is only a 1.7% rise, it is related to the recent rise in household bills and the energy price cap.
Water rates should remain moderate since the next price review by Ofwat is not due until 2024.
The prices below represent the 1.7% change that will take effect from April 2022:
*Source: Discover Water
Breaking this down into water supply and sewerage services, the average water bill is £200 and the average sewerage costs are £219 a year:
|Water Supply||Sewerage Services|
*Source: Discover Water
How Is Your Water Bill Calculated in the UK?
Before we can get into the details of how much you should pay for your average monthly water bill, we first need to understand the average water bill in the UK. Here are some quick important items to keep in mind about your water bill:
- You cannot choose your water provider in the UK for residential homes.
- 24 companies supply water in the UK. Each one is assigned a set region to service. There is no overlap of suppliers anywhere.
- Each water supplier sets its own water rates. The supplier sets the pricing and billing options for your water usage.
- Never fear! Despite each supplier setting their own water rates, they are all supervised by the water regulator, Ofwat, who ensures a fair price and the Drinking Water Inspectorate, who regulates the quality of potable water everywhere in the UK. Water and sewerage prices are reviewed every 5 years.
- Water and sewerage prices are reviewed every 5 years.
If you need help getting started with your water bill, check out our guide on how to Set Up Your Water Bill. [custom_block:HTML_water_moving_intext_type1]
Average Monthly Water Bill per Supplier
Since the average water bill in the UK depends mainly on where you live and who the water supplier is, the cost of the average water bill will then vary accordingly per region. The water rates change based on your postcode area
Wondering how much the average water bills per month are? Let’s have a look at the average monthly water bill with the UK’s major water and sewerage suppliers.*
|Water supplier||Average Bill 2021-22||Average Bill 2022-23|
|Welsh Water Dŵr Cymru||£38.50||£38.58|
|Severn Trent Water||£30.25||£32.42|
|South West Water||£46.08||£43.50|
*Source: Discover Water and our own calculations
What’s Included in the Average Water Bill?
A lot of factors go into determining your water and sewerage bill. Water companies have to maintain the public infrastructure and provide the treatment for both the clean water and the wastewater.
Here we've broken down what’s included in the average water bill, as well as in the average sewerage bill, in the table below.
|Water bill (£16)||Sewerage bill (£18)|
|Maintaining the network of reservoirs, treatment works, pumping stations, and pipes||Building and maintaining sewer pipes|
|Gathering and collecting the water from rivers and reservoirs or pumping it from underground rocks||Pumping sewage to treatment works, various stages, and methods of treatment|
|Storing the water ready to be treated||Flowing cleaned and treated wastewater back into rivers, and the sea|
|Treating, cleaning, and distributing water to properties||Converting solid material from sewage into gas for energy|
This means that over a year on your average water bill you will spend £200 for water usage and £219 on sewerage.[custom_block:HTML_water_moving_intext_type1]
What Is the Average Water Usage?
How can one know how much water their homes use? Not many people have any way of calculating their average water usage, even with a water meter in their homes.
Therefore, to understand the average UK water bill in the UK, we need to understand the average water usage. To give you an indication, we look at the average water usage in litres per day* according to the number of people living at home:
If you are struggling keeping up with your water meter readings every month, you might be eligible for a smart water meter that sends the readings automatically. If you want to find out more, check out our Smart Water Meter guide.
Average Water Usage per Person
As seen in the previous section, 149 litres of water used by one person is quite high. To reduce your average monthly water bill, let's look at where most Brits consume their water.
We break down the average water usage per person below so you can see where you can potentially cut back in water usage:
Can I Use A Water Usage Calculator?
If you want to use a water usage calculator to find out exactly how much water you are using on average. This will allow you to get a good idea of what your water bill per month should be, and how much you can save on your water bills. These can be found on the webpages of your water supplier.
Check out our guide on water rates to find out how your monthly water bill is calculated.[custom_block:HTML_water_moving_intext_type1]
Other Common Household Water Uses
Still not clear on how much is your average water bill and why your water bill may be so high?
Here is a quick breakdown of some common household items, the average water usage* each item has, and the impact they have on the average UK water bill:
|Washing Machine||50 litres per wash|
|Dishwasher||14 litres per wash, 10 liters on eco-cycle|
|Bath||80 litres for a full bath|
|Shower||8 litres per minute, 5 for an electric shower|
|Toilet||9 litres per flush, 5 for a modern toilet|
|Washing hands||6 litres per minute if let tap run|
|Car Wash||250 litres per hose pipe use|
*Source: The Voice for Water Consumers
Interesting Fact On average, leakage accounts for 112 liters of daily water consumption per home in the UK.* If you’re in a situation where you don’t have any water supply at home, check out our No Water in House guide to get it back on.
Lowering Your Average Water Usage
Looking at some of these numbers and charts, one may feel inclined to change their habits to reduce their average water usage and save on their monthly water bill.
Here are some quick affordable tips on what you can do to lower your water usage and, consequently, your monthly water bill (if you have a metered water rate).
- Flow regulators - These can be inserted on taps, garden hoses, and showerheads. Flow regulators reduce the amount of water coming out of the tap and therefore reduce your water usage.
- Blocks for toilets - If you don't want to pay for a new low flush toilet. Simply placing blocks or bricks in the cistern will significantly reduce the amount of water used on every flush. The extra space occupied by the bricks simply replaces the space occupied by water. The more bricks placed, the more water you save.
- Shower time - As seen above, a 10-minute shower equals the usage of a full bath. Turning off the water during your shower as you soap and wash will notably reduce that water usage.
- Full loads - Wait until you have a full load of laundry or dishes to wash before using those appliances so you can maximise your water usage.
- Repair leaks - These can account for up to 112 litres of water lost daily. Call your plumber and maintain your plumbing to ensure there are no leaky pipes.
Many of these water-saving items can be obtained for free via your water supplier, Northumbrian Water Living to name one, and other water-saving organizations.
Did you know? On average, a person with a metered water rate in the UK uses 31.7% less water* than unmetered individuals.
*Source: The Voice for Water Consumers
What If You Can’t Pay Your Monthly Water Bill?
Times are tough. More and more people are struggling to make ends meet. If this is your case, don't fret – you have many options at your disposal to help you pay your monthly water bill.
- Using your benefits - You can pay some bills directly from your benefits (Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Income support, and income-related benefits). This helps avoid falling into debt and having to pay large interest amounts (getting into further debt!).
- Customer assistance funds - Many suppliers offer assistance to those struggling with their bills. With Welsh Water, for example, successful candidates can receive 50% off their arrears after a successful 6-month payment plan.
- Payment holiday - This Yorkshire Water initiative puts a hold on collecting payment on their monthly water bill for a while. Helpful for those who lost employment, those who are unable to make a payment or need to reduce payments.
- WaterSure Scheme - This scheme is for people on benefits that have a high water consumption due to medical reasons OR those with multiple school-aged children. Available through all suppliers in the UK, this scheme puts a cap on your average monthly water bill.
Stay Calm! No water supplier can cut your water if you haven't paid your water bill. This doesn't mean you shouldn't bother paying your water bill! Contact your supplier, set up a debt payment plan, and avoid further stress that can arise from debt collecting agencies or being taken to court.
Does Water Hardness Affect My Average Water Bill?
Water hardness depends on the concentration of minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, present in your water. This occurs due to the type of rocks that the rainwater falls on and passes through. Typically, those households in the south and west of England have hard to very hard water, whereas in Wales and Scotland the water is softer.
Although water hardness does not generally affect your water bill since it is based on the rock type rather than the supplier, there are some factors that might indirectly affect your monthly water bill.
If you want to find out more about soft and hard water, check out our Water Hardness guide.[custom_block:HTML_water_moving_intext_type1]