Average Water Bill UK: How much should you pay?
How much is the average water bill in the UK? How is the average water bill calculated and how can I reduce my spending? Read on to find out.
How is your water bill calculated in the UK?
Before we can get into the details of how much you should pay for your water bill, we first need to understand the average water bill. 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.
- 20 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 pricing and billing options for your water usage.
- Never fear! Despite each supplier setting their pricing, all are supervised by a water regulator who ensures a fair price and quality potable water everywhere in the UK.
- Water and sewerage prices are reviewed every 5 years.
See our guide on water rates for more details on how your water bill is calculated and your pricing options.
How much is the average water bill in the UK?
The average water bill in the UK is £408 per year. This includes the cost of both water and sewerage. You can find the average water bill per year, month and day in the following table.
|Cost per year||£408|
|Cost per month||£34|
|Cost per day||£1.12|
*Source: Discover Water
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 water bill will then vary accordingly per region.
Wondering how much water is per month? Let’s have a look at the average monthly water bill with the UK’s major water and sewerage suppliers.*
|Water supplier||Average monthly water bill||Water supplier||Average monthly water bill|
|Anglian||£35.16||Dr Cymru Welsh Water||£37.25|
|Severn Trent||£30.75||South West||£40.25|
What’s included in the average water bill?
We break down what’s included in the average water bill, as well as in the average sewerage bill, in the table below.
|Water bill (£194)||Sewerage bill (£213)|
|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|
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.
Therefore, to understand the average 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:
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:
Other common household water uses
Still not clear on how much is your 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 water bill in the UK:
|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.*
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. Maximizing 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.
- 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.