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What’s the average water bill? It’s not as simple as you think.

Actually, calculating the average water bill isn’t as easy as you might think. Your bill depends on how you’re billed (metered or non metered) and where you live. But the average for Bristol Water customers is around about £177 a year for clean water, so the stuff you drink and wash with. In fact, for Bristol Water customers, the average bill is actually less now than it was in 2010.

An average bill of £177 is also a bit below the UK average for clean water, which stands at £186 according to Discover Water. Your water bill is normally combined with your sewerage charge which is around about £218 a year. But our younger friends at Wessex Water deal with that in our area.

Your water bill is calculated differently depending on whether you have a water meter fitted or you’re charged based on your property’s rateable value. Let’s just quickly explain the difference between the two.

Rateable value

This was the traditional way of being billed for utilities until we started fitting meters in the 1990’s. It’s based on your local authority assessment of the value that each property should pay and surprisingly, some of these haven’t been reviewed since the 1970’s. The most recent review was 1990 too so it’s a bit out of date, but as all new homes are fitted with a water meter there is no need to change it.

Metered billing

On a meter you’re billed for the water you use rather than an estimation based on your property’s value. This means that a lot of people actually pay less because they don’t use as much water. We know not everyone saves money on a water meter but many do, if you’re one on those people who has read loads of bad stuff about water meters it’s worth reading why meters aren’t such a bad thing before making a firm decision either way. Also, Martin Lewis, you know the money saving expert, the guy everyone trusts, will tell you they’re a good thing too, for some people.

Peter the meter shaking hands with customer
We get some help calculating your bills from our pal Peter the Meter

And if you fancy it, you could fill out our meter calculator to see what your bill could be.

So hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea into the average water bill, but to be honest there is no such thing as average. We also hope you don’t mind us going on a bit about water meters. Think yourself lucky, we could have gone on about all the ways you could cut down on wasting water. But more on that next time…