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Consumers hung out to dry as Ofwat announces water price hikes

5th February 2013 Print

Ofwat's announcement that the average water bill will rise by 3.5% to £388 in April will see consumers forced once again to tighten their purse strings, warns, the independent price comparison and switching service. The hike in water bills comes just months after households saw energy bills soar to a record-high of £1,352 a year. In total, households will now need to find a further £107 a year to pay their essential water and energy bills.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, says: "Ofwat's announcement follows a wave of energy price hikes and will leave many households struggling to stay afloat. In total, consumers will now have to find an extra £107 a year to meet the cost of their essential utility bills. Households now face forking out £1,740 a year on energy, water and sewerage alone. With incomes remaining stagnant, this will be another squeeze on family finances and will no doubt cause sacrifice and hardship for many.

"There really is no need to pay over the odds for any household bills and there are a couple of simple but effective steps to help protect yourself from rising prices. While consumers might not have the choice of switching to a cheaper water supplier, they do have the option of moving to a water meter which could save them £54 a year. As a rule of thumb, if there are more bedrooms than people in a household then a water meter could be more cost effective."

Pros and cons of being on a water meter:

If you are on a meter, you only pay for what you use, which means that cutting back on the amount you use will save you money.

If you switch to a water meter and find that you are not saving money or are unhappy with the change, you can switch back to unmeasured charging within 12 months.

The general rule of thumb: if there are less people in your house than bedrooms (e.g. two people living in a four bedroom family home) then you could save money by switching to a water meter.

For larger families, being on a water meter may not be cost effective as your water consumption may be high. Customers living in compulsory metering areas will need support in regulating and reducing consumption.