Average water use and cost

Sometimes you get a bill that’s higher than you expect, or your bills are more than you anticipate every time. If you’ve ruled out a possible leak, then it’s likely that you’re using a lot of water.

How do I use less water?

You can save money by using less water. Have a look at the picture below to find out how we measure water use and what you can do to use less and reduce you bills.

Please use these figures as a guide only – the amount of water you use will vary depending on your circumstances. 

Cubic metres

Small changes could save you money

Reasons why your bill may be higher than usual

At home more than usual

During COVID lockdowns, we saw a 20% increase in how much water people were using. If ever you or your kids are at home more than normal, a lot more of the following things will be happening:

  • flushing the loo
  • taking showers at home rather than the gym or work
  • washing more dishes

Have you started a new activity or got a new appliance?

Some seasonal activities use a lot of water, such as:

  • gardening, e.g. using a hose or sprinkler to water your plants
  • filling a paddling pool
  • using a hot tub.

Did you know?

  • Filling up a paddling pool could use up to 3,000 litres, which is the equivalent to 7,500 cups of tea!
  • Avoiding using sprinklers/hosepipes can save £300 year.
  • Using a hose with a trigger gun can save £210 per year.
  • Dripping taps can waste 5,500 litres a year. Fixing this could save you £7 a year. 

Has your household increased in size?

More people living in your home will increase the rate of water use. For example:

  • Guests staying over means more hand washes, showers and toilet trips.
  • A newborn – a baby requires constant washing of clothes and bibs and sterilising etc.
  • Students back from university – young people need privacy and the bathroom is often the only place they can get it. Just ensure they turn the water off when it’s not in use.

For further detail on the average cost for different sizes of household, please see the table below.

Do you live in a student house?

You and your housemates are likely to live independent lifestyles within a household – for example, doing separate clothes washes.

This type of routine increases the amount of water used and will likely lead to higher bills than a family household

Have you had building work or DIY done?

Building work and DIY can use a lot of water – e.g. activities like concreting, washing down areas, cleaning brushes and bleeding radiators.

Faulty plumbing, dripping tap or a water leak

If you think you may have a leak in your home follow these steps to help you find a leak and repair or report a leak.

A dripping tap can waste 15 litres a day or 5,500 litres a year, which is the equivalent of a bathtub of water a week. You can learn how to fix a dripping tap – in most cases, you simply need to change the washer which could save you £7 a year.

Push-button toilets commonly have undetected leaks. A leaky loo can waste up to 400 litres of water a day – fixing it can save you approximately £500 a year on your bills. So it can pay to know if your loo is leaking. Do you have a leaky loo?

Why is my bill higher than my neighbour’s?

This may be due to one of the following:

  • Tariff – you may be on different tariffs.
  • Credit – they may have credit on their account and have had their payments lowered to account for this.
  • Different size household – they may have fewer people living in or visiting the house, leading to a lower rate of consumption.
  • Different routines – everyone has different ways of living and your neighbour’s activities may use less water, e.g. taking a quick shower rather than a bath.
  • Water-saving products – they may have invested in water-saving products to lower their usage and bill. Book a free water saving visit or request a save a flush bag.


Average water use and cost

We’ve put together the information below go give you an idea of an average household’s bill, and use of water and wastewater (that’s all the water that ends up in your drains and we need to take away from your home).

We’ve given you examples based on the number of people living in the home so it’s easier for you to make comparisons with your own situation. But do remember, these are averages so won’t be an exact match to your circumstances.

The figures are based on charges for the year April 2022 to March 2023.

Number of people in property 1 2 3 4 5 6
Estimated use per year (cubic metres) 65 100 135 160 180 200
Estimated use (litres per day) 178 274 370 438 493 548
Wastewater (cubic metres) 60.1 92.5 124.9 148.0 166.5 185.0
Water and wastewater
Average cost per year* £291 £409 £527 £612 £679 £747
Monthly instalments £24 £34 £44 £51 £57 £62
Water only
Average cost per year* £120 £174 £228 £267 £298 £329
Monthly instalments £10 £15 £19 £22 £25 £27
Wastewater only
Average cost per year* £171 £235 £299 £345 £382 £418
Monthly instalments £14 £20 £25 £29 £32 £35

Has your bill gone up?

While everyone’s been at home more, we’ve all been using more water – so your bill may have gone up. Using less water could reduce your costs.
Find tips to save water