How we bill you if you have a meter
We’ll bill you about every six months for clean water, wastewater, and our fixed charges. We charge for every 1,000 litres or cubic metre of water you’ve used. This is equivalent to 25 quick showers. The charge per cubic metre is 148.28p for water and 90.51p for wastewater.
Once we’ve worked out your clean water and wastewater charges, we’ll add your fixed charges. These cover some of our essential running costs, like maintaining pipes and handling enquiries.
For the 2021-22 charging year, which started on 1 April 2021, everyone who has a water meter will pay £20.34 a year for water fixed charges and £65.18 a year for wastewater charges. If you qualify for a surface water drainage rebate, your wastewater fixed charge is reduced to £38.52.
Do I need to read my meter?
As you have a meter that records your usage, we only charge you for what you use, so long as we have an up-to-date reading.
Your bill will show how much water you used between the two most recent meter readings, or between a reading and an estimate. Sometimes, we’ll calculate the bill using two estimates.
Many water meters need reading, and we schedule these approximately once a year. If we don’t have a reading, we send an estimated bill. Your bill will show if your charges for that period are based on a reading or an estimate. We recommend taking your own readings a few times a year, to keep your bills accurate.
In some places, you might have a ‘smart’ meter that regularly sends us up-to-date electronic readings – these are more common in London, for now.
Learn more about making the most of your meter.
Understanding estimated bills
Bills based on estimated reads are very common and nothing to worry about, as we only take meter readings once a year. If we send you an estimated bill, we base it on the average amount of water you typically use. If we have no previous meter readings, we'll estimate how much you're using based on the average of homes with a similar number of people.
When we next receive a reading, we'll adjust your bill up or down so we only charge you for the amount of water you've used.
You can submit your own meter reading at any time in your online account if your meter is accessible and it’s safe to do so. We'll then review it and send you a new bill if needed.
Is your bill higher than expected?
Your meter records the exact amount of water you use, so it’s the most accurate way for us to calculate your bill. Many customers find they use less water and save money having a meter.
If your charges look higher than usual, you can watch this video to learn more:
The dates your bill covers
Does your current bill cover a greater time period than your last bill? We try to send metered bills every six months, but this can sometimes take longer, which results in slightly higher bills.
Estimated water use
If we haven’t read your meter and don’t receive a reading from you, we’ll estimate your water use. Your bill will say if this is the case.
If we previously billed you based on your estimated use but now have an accurate meter reading, your bill might rise or fall if your meter reading shows that you’re using more or less water than we estimated. Submit an accurate reading as soon as possible and we can send you a new bill.
How much water you use
If there are now more people at from home, working, for example, you may be using more water. It’s also common to use more water during warm weather, when renovating or when using some appliances more than usual, like showers and washing machines.
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your water use:
- Fix leaky loos and dripping taps – A leaky loo can waste an average of around 400 litres of water a day
- Turn off the tap when washing up or brushing your teeth – a running tap can use six litres of water a minute
- Take shorter showers – a shower uses 10 litres of water a minute on average
Learn more about saving water at home and ultimately save yourself money on your bill.
Leaks in your home
Make sure you don’t have a dripping tap, leaky loo or other hidden leak that’s increasing your water use – check our advice pages for tips on hunting down leaks.
If you didn’t pay your last bill in full, we might have carried over what you owe. Watch our video to learn more
Worried about paying? We’re here to help
We’re here to help if you’re concerned about paying your bill. Learn more on our financial support page.