MoneyMagpie

Jan 03

Save money, save water. Get a water meter

This is a guest blog from journalist Tira Shubart

Want to save a few hundred pounds a year and help conserve a scare resource? Want to give less of your money to a big company and keep more yourself? Simple! Just think about water.

“Over the years I watched in amazement as my annual water bill went up and up and up again. In one year it was £ 237 a year. Then £247 the next. The one after that there was a giant leap to £ 304. As I live alone, shower in my health club most mornings and work abroad three months of the year, I thought something was not right.

Then a plumber friend told me to have a water meter installed. But this wasn’t straightforward. First you have register for an “Optional Metering Scheme” which usually involves phone calls and paperwork. Then you have to wait—in my case three months. But it’s worth it.

When the water meter man arrived he extolled the virtues of the meter. He was a man who loved his job. “This meter will make you very aware of how much water you use and what it costs. You’ll not only save a lot of money, but you’ll find yourself using less because you will think of water differently.”

He was right. My annual bill went from £ 304.00 to £96.00 for starters. Over two hundred pounds less! And I started paying attention to how I used water.”

Here’s a few examples:

  • When cleaning you teeth, turn off the tap. Every minute you leave the tap on wastes 6 litres of water
  • Put a few bricks or a Save-a-flush in your toilet cistern to save up to a litre per flush
  • Shower rather than bathe. That can saves hundreds a litres a week
  • Fix dripping tapes to save dozens more litres a week. 
  • Keep water in the fridge which means you won’t have to run the tap for ages to get a cold drink. 
  • Make sure you have a full load in your washing machine. The average wash needs about 95 litres. A full load uses less water than 2 half loads. 
  • When you boil an egg save the cooled water for your houseplants. This also gives them nutrients released from the shell. 
  • Only fill your kettle for your needs, not to the brim. This will reduce your fuel bills too. 
  • The dirty water after cleaning a fish tank is great for your houseplants; rich in nitrogen and phosphorus
  • When you buy new washing machines and dishwashers, choose the new “water efficient variety with an A rating.
  • If you are a gardener there are dozens of clever ways to conserve water and lower your bill which you can find online or at your local garden centre.

Finally, after you stop boring your friends with the tale of how you saved money with your water meter, enjoy it by spending wisely or saving it.

And spare a thought for people in parts of the world who can only dream of turning on a tap to have clean water. You might want to send a celebratory contribution to one of the charities that help provide water to the developing world.  Check out  www.wateraid.org.uk

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