If you’ve received a bill which is higher than usual, don’t worry – there might be a simple explanation for that.
COVID-19 and increased water use
During the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are using more water at home than usual. If you or a member of your household has been at home more regularly, or you've stayed in as opposed to going on holiday, you might find your water use as increased.
There are two main steps: consider whether you might have used more water than usual during the period outlined in your bill and to investigate for any leaks in your home which might be increasing your water use.
Due to the outbreak, we're unable to facilitate home visits unless there is an essential need like loss of supply. There are a number of steps you can take to explore why your water use might be higher than normal, and we're still available to talk you through it on the phone as always.
Was your previous bill an estimate? If so, we may have underestimated the amount of water you use, which means your most recent bill will appear much higher than your previous estimated bill. Also, check how many days your bills are covering. Although most bills are six months, it could be just under or just over that time frame.
When bills increase, it’s often because you’re using more water. So, before you give us a call, please check the four steps below to see if this helps identify what may have caused an increase in your water usage.
You can also try our online calculator. Simply answer a few questions, and we’ll estimate what your bill should be. We’ll also give you some handy tips on how to use less water – helping to reduce both your water and energy bills too.
Typical causes of a higher than usual bill...
Are there more people living in your property?
- Are you spending more time at home during COVID-19?
- Have you got a new baby in the family?
- Do you have children back home from university?
- Do you have any relatives staying with you for an extended period of time?
- Is a member of the family spending more time at home due to illness or retirement?
Do you have any new appliances in your property that may use more water?
- Have you had a power shower fitted recently? Power showers use a lot more water than standard electric showers
- Have you had a new combined washer/dryer fitted? They use a lot more water than a standard washing machine as the washer/dryer uses cold water as part of the drying process
- Are you using washing machines or dishwashers more than usual?
Have you been using more water outside your home?
- Have you been using a hosepipe or sprinkler in the garden? Sprinklers use as much water in one hour as a family of four will use in one day!
- Do you have any new water features in your garden such as a pond or swimming pool?
- Are you having any building work done which has led to more water being used?
Check for leaks
- Have you checked outside to see if water is leaking out of any overflow pipes from water tanks in the loft?
- Does your toilet have a modern cistern that overflows into the bowl? If yes, check to make sure the cistern is not constantly overflowing, as this will be wasting a lot of water.
- Have you checked all taps (including any outside taps) to make sure they are not leaking water?
- If you think you have a leak, you need to locate your stop tap and check to see if it shuts off the water. If it isn’t working, please call a plumber.
- If you are on a water meter and the meter dial is turning when you are not using any water, it is likely that you have a leak. Turn off your internal stop tap and check the meter. If the meter dial has stopped turning you may have a leak inside your property. If the meter is still turning when the internal stop tap is off, it is likely you have a leak on your private supply pipe and you should contact us.
Still not figured out what could have caused your bill to increase? Get in touch.