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Martin Lewis says get £1,128 from your water supplier with one call | Personal Finance | Finance

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Money expert Martin Lewis is urging people to get as much as £1,128 from their water supplier by making one simple change.

Martin has this week turned his attention to water bills, hot on the news that some water companies are looking to increase household water bills by as much as £94.

Water ombudsman Ofwat has announced it wants to increase prices by an average of £19 a year, but water firms are saying it’s not enough and want to push bills even higher.

The bill hike varies depending on region, as Thames Water customers face an increase of £99 or 23 percent over the next five years, while Anglian customers are looking at £66 or 13 percent, and Southern Water customers will endure a £183 rise, an increase of 44 percent.

But Martin Lewis says you can possibly beat the water bill hikes by making one change – depending how big your house is and how many people live in it.

Martin Lewis said: “One thing you should look at is whether you should switch to a water meter.

“Now rather strangely your water bills are still based on the old pre-1990 rateable value of your home. It’s the rate system that determines your water bills, roughly on your home’s value. Now if you think that’s wrong there is no way to appeal, so if you think your rateable value is too high, you can’t ask for it to be lowered like you can with council tax. So of course bigger homes pay more.

“If there’s two of us living in a four bedroom home, our house would have a big rateable value but we wouldn’t be using much water and sewerage so we’re probably better off on a water meter.

“So my rough rule of thumb is, if there are more or the same number of bedrooms in your home than people, you are probably better off on a water meter.”

Martin said you can check with a calculator online, but gave an example of one man who contacted him after slashing his monthly bills by £94 a month, or £1,128 over the cours of a year.

He continued: “There is a calculator on the Consumer Council of Water where you can go and see that.

“But just to give you a clue, a man emailed my website back in April and said, thankyou we’ve moved to a water meter and our bill has gone down from £119 a month to £25 a month.

“Big savings. If you’re in a big house and there’s not many of you, the savings can be big.”

To get a water meter, simply call your supplier and request one. Many suppliers can also be applied to online – such as Thames Water which says: “If you’d like a water meter and you’re the bill payer, you can apply for one in your online account. You can also apply if you rent your home and have a tenancy of six months or more. You can check if you have a meter on your bill. As part of our metering programme, we’re also installing water meters across the region.”

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