SWITCHING to a water meter could help thousands of people in Wales cut their bills, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW).

Some households could save up to £100 a year, the CCW said, freeing up funds to help absorb the impact of other household bills set to increase from April 1.

The water watchdog said Dwr Cymru Welsh Water was bucking this trend, with the average household water and sewerage bill set to fall by £3.

“April can be a tipping point for many cash-strapped consumers, but there are ways to stop water bills draining your finances,” Phil Marshall, CCW's deputy chief executive, said.

“Switching to a meter won’t suit everyone, but in some cases households discover they can make a considerable saving.

"That could free up valuable cash to help absorb the impact of other rising bills.”

Households with more bedrooms than people living in their property are the most likely to save money with a meter.

The CCW has an online calculator to help consumers work out how much they might save. Since April 2018, the calculator has been used more than 260,000 times and helped consumers identify potential annual bill savings totalling £15.4 million.

– Other ways to save

The CCW offered these tips for cutting down on your water bills:

  • Apply for a lower tariff. Social tariff schemes can substantially reduce the bills of low-income customers. Eligibility is based on household income – ask your supplier for more information.
  • Fish for some freebies. Most water companies will offer you a free water-saving pack with devices that can help reduce your use around the house. These are ideal for saving money if you’re a metered customer.
  • Soak-away savings. If you have a soak-away in your garden, which drains all the surface water from your property into the earth, you can apply to have surface water drainage charges removed from your bills. This could typically save you about £40 a year.
  • Sign up to WaterSure. If your metered household receives income-related benefits and has to use a lot of water due to having a large family or medical condition, you may be eligible for WaterSure. This scheme caps the amount you can be charged.
  • Top up your low income. Millions of households are still missing out on benefits and charitable grants which could bolster their low income and help them to afford essentials like water. Use the Benefits Calculator and Grants search tool on the CCW's website to see if you’re eligible.