A guide to water supply


Moving house? Here’s a quick guide to water supply in the England and Wales, and information on how to set up your water account. If you live in Scotland, your water rates are included in your council tax so this article doesn't apply. 

Taking a water meter reading

When you move into a new home, your water supply will usually be ready to use. Before you use any water, check to see if you have a water meter in your house. If there is no meter inside your property, it may mean you don’t have one – around half of UK homes have no water meter. Some properties have a meter outside the property, which is read by the water authority periodically. If in doubt, speak to your landlord or the water authority. If you do find a water meter, note down the reading.

Setting up your water account

You’ll need to contact your water authority to set up your account. If you’re not sure who your water authority is, you can find out here using your postcode. You’ll need to give them your name, address, meter reading (if applicable) and bank details in order to set up a direct debit.

You may find it easier to use Tili, our digital home move assistant, to create your water account, as well as your other essential services. Simply sign up, pop in a few details, and we’ll guide you through the process of setting up your new home.

How much can I expect to pay on my water bill?

This will vary. If you have a meter, your water bill will be based on what you’ve used. If you don’t have a meter, this will be a fixed rate. The average monthly water bill in the UK is around £34.

Can I ask to have a water meter fitted?

You can usually ask your water authority to install a water meter if you don’t already have one. If you’re renting, it’s worth speaking to your landlord before you go ahead and do this, but those with a tenancy agreement of six months or more usually have the right to ask for a meter.

Before you decide, bear in mind that if your water usage is high, you may end up paying more with a water meter than you would on a fixed rate. Fixed rates are determined based on the rateable value of your home, and therefore bigger homes tend to attract higher fixed rates. If there are more bedrooms than there are people in your household, you may be paying more on a fixed rate than you would with a water meter.

Moving house? Tili, the digital home move assistant, can reduce days of home move admin to a few minutes. Tili will help you inform the council and water authority you’ve moved, and help you set up your broadband and TV. Find out more.


Save time and hassle with the Tili digital home move assistant
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