How To Pay Your Water Bill: The Complete Guide

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paying water bill

Need to pay your water bill? Here we’ve prepared a complete guide to explain how to pay the water bill with your water supplier. Read on to find out about different payment methods available to you so you can pay your water bill in the way that’s most comfortable for you.

Paying the water bill is one of the most important of all the household utilities, but lots of people forget about it. In this guide, we’ll go through how to pay your water bill in the UK and explore the many different payment options available so you can pay in the way that best suits you.

Unmetered Or Metered Water Bill?

Before we even get started on paying the water bill, we need to check what type of water bill you will be paying. In the UK, households will typically have two types of water rates they can be on: an unmetered water bill and a metered water bill.

Do you have a water meter? Paying an unmetered water bill or a metered water bill depends on whether you have a water meter installed in the property. Check out our water meter guide to see how you find out if you have a water meter installed or not.

Unmetered Water Bill

If you don’t have a water meter installed, it is very likely you will receive an unmetered water bill. This is where your water bill is based on the rateable value of your property and you are charged a fixed rate for the year. The rateable value of your property depends on the size and condition of the property.

Metered Water Bill

water meter

If you have a water meter installed, you will be charged a metered water bill. This means that the water bill you receive will be based on the amount of water you use. This is often a fairer way of calculating how much you owe to your water company and can often save you money.

You should use a water rates calculator to see if you would benefit from a water meter in your property. If you are living alone or live in a smaller property, it might be better for your water bill to install a water meter. If you live in a household with a large family, an unmetered water bill is often better.

Since water rates vary from region to region, check out our average UK water bill guide to find out how much you should be paying.

Pay Water Bill Supplier Guides

If you already know who your water supplier is, you can find their specific water bill payment details from one of our guides here:

If you’ve just moved into a property and are looking to get going with your water bill, check out our guide for more help on how to set up your water bill.

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Pay Water Bill Methods

As with energy and broadband bills, there are many different payment options available to water customers. Since each water company is different, the options available depend on which supplier you're with. However, the majority of the most common payment methods are offered by all water suppliers.

Who is my water provider? If you’re unsure who your water provider is, you can find out by using a postcode checker or by simply checking our water supplier guide with a map.

Pay Water Bill By Direct Debit

pay water bill

Perhaps the easiest way to set up your water bill payment is through a direct debit. A direct debit is where the money for your water bill comes out automatically from your bank account on a certain day each month.

A direct debit is a secure payment method where you have all the control. You can cancel a direct debit at any time and you are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

To set up a direct debit, you need three things:

  1. Full name - this is your name as it appears on your bank account.
  2. Bank Account Number - this is an 8 digit number that can be found on your bank statements.
  3. Sort Code - this is the 6 digit number that is also found on your bank statements with your Bank Account Number.

Direct Debit Details are not sensitive bank details. Your direct debit details are not sensitive bank information, unlike your credit/debit card number or your security code. If you set up a direct debit, you are in full control and you may cancel the transfer whenever you need to just by contacting your bank.

Pay Water Bill Online

If you need even more control over your water bill payments or would like to pay via credit/debit card, many water providers such as Thames Water allow you to make the water bill payment online in a one-off payment.

To make an online payment you will need your:

  1. Water supplier Account Number - this can be found on your latest bill or online account.
  2. First and Last Names - as they appear on your credit/debit card.
  3. Postcode - the area of the property receiving the water supply.
  4. Credit/Debit Card Details - including the long 16 digit card number, your expiry date, and the 3 digit security code.

Since this method involves sensitive bank information, water companies have secure networks so that your water bill payment can be completed safely and at no risk to your security. After you enter the details, you will be asked to authenticate your water bill payment.

Pay Water Bill By Bank Transfer

pay water bill bank transfer

Another secure way you can pay the water bill is through a bank transfer. This method allows you to manually transfer the money owed on your water bill to the water company without needing to give out any non-sensitive or sensitive bank information.

Each water company will have their own individual bank details for you to complete the transfer, so you should consult our specific pay water bill guides for your water supplier to know exactly what those details are.

To complete a bank transfer to your water company, you will need your:

  1. Water Supplier Account Number - this can be found on your latest bill and is necessary for the water company to locate your account.
  2. Water Supplier Bank Account Number - this is the 8 digit account number that will be published by your water supplier on their website.
  3. Water Supplier Sort Code - this is the 6 digit code also published on your water supplier’s website.

With this information, you can either complete the transaction by visiting your bank’s local branch, or using online banking. You will need to detail the exact amount owed and then the transfer will be processed.

Keep an eye on transfer time! Make sure you complete the transfer in good time so that you don’t miss or get behind on a water bill payment. If you miss a payment, it could impact your credit score.

Pay Water Bill By Phone

pay water bill by phone

If you are uncomfortable using online banking but would still like to pay the water bill using a credit or debit card, water companies offer a service where you can pay over the phone instead. To make the water bill payment, you will need the same information as for paying your water bill online.

Each water company will have a different number to call in order to pay the water bill. Here’s a list of all the numbers available and their opening times:

Water Supplier Contact Number Opening Times
Affinity Water 0345 357 2400 24/7 Automated Service
Albion Water 0330 024 2020 8.30am - 5.30pm Mon-Fri
Anglian Water 0345 791 9155 24/7 Automated Service
Bristol Water 0345 600 1019 24/7 Automated Service
Bournemouth Water 0800 389 5110 8am - 6pm Mon-Fri9am - 2pm Sat
Essex & Suffolk Water 0345 782 0111 8am -7pm Mon-Fri
8am - 1pm Sat
Hartlepool Water 03450 268 926 24/7 Automated Service
Northumbrian Water 0345 733 5566 8am - 7pm Mon-Fri
8am - 1pm Sat
Portsmouth Water 0800 048 0021 24/7 Automated Service
Scottish Water 0800 077 8778 24/7 Service
Southern Water 0330 303 1263 24/7 Automated Service
South East Water 0333 000 0247 24/7 Automated Service
United Utilities 0800 980 6050 24/7 Automated Service
Thames Water 0800 980 8800 24/7 Automated Service
Welsh Water Dŵr Cymru 0800 028 5209 24/7 Automated Service
Wessex Water 0345 600 1019 24/7 Automated Service

Pay Water Bill By Cheque

water drop

With many water companies, you also have the ability to avoid electronic payments all together through making your water bill payment via a cheque in the post. To make the water bill payment by cheque, you will need:

  1. Payment Slip - this can be found at the end of your water bill.
  2. Water Supplier’s Address - this can be found on the water bill or the supplier’s website.

To pay the water bill by cheque, you will need to use the payment slip attached to the end of your bill that you receive in the post. You need to include this in the envelope with your cheque, which must be made payable to your water company.

If you need help finding your water supplier’s address to pay the water bill via post, consult our water supplier’s page for individual contact details.

Pay Water Bill At The Post Office

Like with your energy payments, you can request a payment card from your water supplier so you can make your regular water bill payments at the post office, or at a PayPoint or PayZone outlet.

These payment cards give you the freedom to make your water bill payments by cash without having to use electronic or any other banking facility.

For a payment card, you would need to set up a payment plan in order organise your water bill payments in installments.

Pay Water Bill In Installments

Water bills can be arranged differently depending on whether you have a water bill or not. You can even adjust the frequency in which you make your water bill payments.

Water companies should offer you different time frames for when you can pay your water bill. You can of course pay it all at once and sometimes this is a good idea if you have an unmetered bill. However, it can help to have the bill broken down to make it more manageable.

You can choose to pay your water bill over 12 months, 10 months, or even 8 months. This is sometimes confused with getting a free month or two on your bill, however this is not actually the case.

No such thing as a free month! No matter how you break it down, you will ultimately pay your total water bill for that year.

You can arrange these installments to be paid via a direct debit, bank transfer, or a payment card.

Help Offered To Pay Water Bill

water tap

Since the water companies are regulated by Ofwat, the water regulator, they all provide a certain amount of assistance to those customers who are having difficulties paying their water bill.

There are different types of help that are offered to customers who are struggling. Some come directly from the government, whereas others are offered by your specific water supplier. The type of help you are eligible for depends also on whether you have a meter installed or not.

Getting a water meter can help. Only 40% of households have a water meter installed in the UK. Getting a water meter means that your water bill payments will be more accurate and could save you money. If you’re struggling to pay the water bill, installing a water meter could help.

WaterSure Scheme

The WaterSure Scheme is offered to metered water customers who have a high water usage due to a medical condition or a large family of children under 19. The WaterSure Scheme caps the amount that you pay for your bills so it cannot go above a certain amount.

The amount capped will be based on the average metered water bill for your water company. In the case of Wessex Water and Bristol Water, the cap will be at the lowest average water bill.

You are eligible for the WaterSure Scheme if you receive one of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

You would also need to meet on of the following criteria:

  • Desquamation - flakey skin loss
  • Weeping Skin Disease
  • Incontinence
  • Abdominal Stoma
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Renal Failure - where a dialysis machine is required at home

You may also be eligible if you receive Child Benefit for 3 or more children.

Help Offered By Water Companies

As mentioned above, individual water companies also offer support to their customers to pay the water bill. Here is a list of the different support offered by the UK water suppliers to help make water bill payments:

Water Supplier Scheme Offered
Affinity Water Lift
Anglian Water Lite
Bournemouth Water WaterCare
Bristol Water Assist
Cambridge Water Assure
Welsh Water Dŵr Cymru HelpU
Essex and Suffolk Water SupportPLUS
Hafren Dyfrdwy Here2Help
Hartlepool Water Lite
Northumbrian Water SupportPLUS
Portsmouth Water Helping Hand Scheme
Severn Trent Water Big Difference
Southern Water Essentials Tariff
South Staffs Water Assure
South West Water WaterCare
SES Water Water Support
Thames Water WaterHelp
United Unities Help To Pay and Back On Track
Wessex Water Assist
Yorkshire Water WaterSupport

Source: Consumer Council for Water.

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