If you don’t have a water meter, you’ll pay an annual charge that’s based on the rateable value of your home, so the amount of water you use will have no impact on your monthly bill. Which means that if you live in a large home, but you have just a small family, it’s likely that switching to a water meter will save you money. But think before you switch – because once you’ve had a meter installed for 12 months, you won’t be able to switch back. And for a family living in a 3-bedroom semi with 2 or 3 children, a non-metered supply is likely to be more cost effective.
The right energy tariff
The way some utilities companies charge for gas and electricity has become very complicated. There are capped tariffs, fixed tariffs, dual fuel tariffs, pre-paid tariffs, green tariffs, feed-in tariffs and economy 7 tariffs – which can make it very difficult to figure out which tariff offers you the best deal. Thankfully, some switching websites have responded by offering customers a tariff comparison tool – which makes it relatively straightforward to discover if you could save money by switching to another tariff or another provider. They’ve made the switching process easy too – so there’s no excuse not to. It could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
When Council Tax was first launched back in 1991, local authorities faced the enormous task of assessing every single property in their borough. And with limited time to get the job done, many called upon local estate agents to help them complete the task. But not all assessors were as thorough as they should have been, and many estimates have been found to be inaccurate. The Welsh government has since carried out a full re-assessment, but in England and Scotland, there could be up to 400,000 households overpaying Council Tax. The first step to check whether you’ve been overpaying is to compare your band with your neighbours, and you can do that here
Another way to lower your electricity bill is to use less energy. And although improving your home insulation offers the biggest energy saving opportunity, there are lots of simpler steps you can take to conserve energy – like switching appliances off from standby, which should save you around £30 a year. Next time you’re replacing white goods, choose an energy-efficient appliance – the right fridge and freezer could save you around £70 a year compared to inefficient models. And when you’re doing the washing, setting the machine to 30°C instead of 40°C will save around one third of the running costs.