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Five easy ways to slash your water bill by £500 a year – from cheap gadgets to a habit change that costs nothing

HOUSEHOLDS continue to feel the pinch from the rising cost of living crunch but many don’t know they can find easy ways to reduce water usage and save money on bills.

There are plenty of water-saving methods which can be put in place at home, with minimal effort.

Try reducing time spent in the shower from eight to five minutes

Some are quick fixes, whilst others involve changing some fixtures and fittings, but are worth it in the long run for the amount of money to be saved.

From using a dual flush toilet to changing your shower head, here are the best ways to save your cash in the long-run.

If you are on a water meter and don’t pay a fixed amount for your water bill, reducing your water consumption will lower the cost.

Around 60% of households have water meters, so millions can stand to make savings.

Move from a traditional flush to a dual-flash toilet – £109

Toilets alone make up approximately 22% of a typical home’s water usage.

Dual flush toilets have gained popularity as an eco-friendly solution for households.

In fact, many modern toilet systems come with a dual flush option for water conservation, but many users don’t know how much of a difference they can make to water usage in the home.

The large flush can use 6 to 9 litres at a time, whereas the small flush uses less water, coming in at 3 to 4 litres.

A dual flush toilet uses two buttons to flush liquid and solid waste, reducing water use, instead of a handle.

By switching from a traditional flush toilet to a dual-flush toilet, you can save £109 per year, according to Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q and Screwfix.

However, it’s important to check whether your dual flush system isn’t leaking water into the bowl – if so it could end up costing you more each year.

Move from a higher flow to a low-flow showerhead – £94

Low-flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40% or more, conserving water and reducing your monthly water bill.

Showers take energy to heat water, so both your water usage and energy usage will decrease.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing your shower head with a water efficient one could save a four-person household as much as £38 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £53 a year on their water bills.

In total, you’re likely to save an estimated £94 per year from switching from a higher flow to a low-flow showerhead.

Simply swap your higher flow showerhead fitting, for a low-flow showerhead.

You can also purchase low flow taps and even toilets.

Reduce showers from eight minutes to five – £61

Almost half of Brits say they shower for longer than six minutes per day, with 1 in 5 – or 22% – showering longer than ten minutes.

Nearly half – 49% – admit that they sometimes, often or always, shower longer than needed.

What water bill support is available?

IT’S always worth checking if you qualify for a discount or extra support to help pay your water bill.

Over two million households who qualify to be on discounted social water tariffs aren’t claiming the savings provided, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW).

Only 1.3million households are currently issued with a social water tariff – up 19% from the previous year.

And the average household qualifying for the discounted water rates can slash their bills by £160 a year.

Every water company has a social tariff scheme which can help reduce your bills if you’re on a low income and the CCW is calling on customers to take advantage before bills rise in April.

Who’s eligible for help and the level of support offered varies depending on your water company.

Most suppliers also have a pot of money to dish out to thousands of customers who are under pressure from rising costs – and you don’t have to pay it back.

These grants can be worth hundreds of pounds offering a vital lifeline when faced with daunting water bills.

The exact amount you can get depends on where you live and your supplier, as well as your individual circumstances.

Many billpayers across the country could also get help paying off water debts through a little-known scheme and even get the balance written off.

Companies match the payments eligible customers make against the debt on their account to help clear it sooner.

If you’re on a water meter but find it hard to save water as you have a large family or water-dependent medical condition, you may be able to cap your bills through the WaterSure scheme.

Bills are capped at the average amount for your supplier, so the amount you could save will vary.

The Consumer Council for Water estimates that bills are reduced by £307 on average through the scheme.

But by reducing your shower time from eight to five minutes, you can save up to £61 per year.

Don’t leave the tap running whilst brushing your teeth – £37

You can even cut your water bills when you’re brushing your teeth.

1 in 3 Brits – or 34% – have admitted that they currently do this sometimes or very often.

If you brush your teeth for 2 minutes and let the tap run you could use over 12 litres of water.

Only using the tap to clean your brush and the sink means you could save around £37 a year.

Energy Saving Trust also recommends you only use cold water to stop your boiler from unnecessarily firing up for a few minutes.

Fix your leaking toilet – £236

It’s estimated that 5% of UK homes currently have a leaky toilet, which can waste a staggering 200-400 litres of water each day.

Simply fixing your leaky toilet will save you £236 per year.

Andrew Tucker, water demand reduction manager at Thames Water previously told The Sun: “Typically all that involves is replacing the inside valves or washers, which you can get at any DIY store.”

Should I get a water meter?

It might be worth swapping to a water meter if your water usage is reasonably low.

Water meters measure the exact amount of water you use, rather than relying on estimates based on rateable values, which is a calculation based on your property and cannot be changed.

You can find out what your home’s ratable value is here.

If it’s high, and you live by yourself, for example, it may be worth considering swapping to a water meter.

Most homes can have a meter installed free of charge.

The Consumer Council for Water website has a handy calculator which can tell you whether it is worth asking for a meter.

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