However, homes that don’t have meters will see increases of about 2.5 per cent, to an average of £320, while the average metered bill is expected to drop slightly to £266 - a £54 difference. And, the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) points out, this cost gap continues to widen.
Should you get a meter?
Going on a meter means you pay only for the water you use, rather than being charged according to the “rateable value” of your property. The rule of thumb is that if there are more bedrooms than people in your property, a meter may work out cheaper. Uswitch, the comparison service, and the CCW (www.ccwater.org.uk) have online calculators for working out whether you could pay less. Two people living in a four-bedroom home could save more than £100 a year by having a meter, according to Uswitch figures.
Your water company will install a meter for no charge and, if your bills don’t turn out lower, you have 12 months to switch back to unmetered billing. Where a meter can’t be installed, households can request an “assessed charge”. This is linked to likely use and may yield savings.
Any more savings?
Installing a meter gives an incentive to cut your consumption. Metered households are estimated to cut their water usage by up to 15 per cent, so adding to potential savings, says Savewatersavemoney.co.uk, a website that sells water-efficient appliances. Households that cut their hot water use can also reduce their energy bills.