My Account Water Meter Why is my measured bill higher than expected?

If you've received a bill which is higher than you expected, our below list may help you work out why.

There are a number of reasons why your bill may appear high:


  • Your previous bill was based on an estimated reading which was too low. Therefore, your latest bill will include any charges not billed on your previous bill.

Here is an example:

Average usage per bill - 45 cubic metres (m3) or 90m3 for two bills.

Bill Your billed usage  
Previous bill 35m3 (estimated)  
Latest bill 55m3 (actual)  
Total 90m3  


  • Your latest bill was for a longer period than your previous bill. The longer the bill period, the more water you will use.

Here is an example:

Bill Your billed usage  
Previous bill 26m3 in 150 days  
Latest bill 33m3 in 193 days  


  • If the number of people living at the property has increased between your bills.

Here are some examples:

  • You had a baby.
  • You had visitors to stay.
  • A friend or relative has moved into the property with you.

Other reasons why your bill is higher than you expected...

  • A dripping tap which can waste at least 18 litres a day. This would cost about £20 a year!
  • Renovation or decorating work which means you have used more water than usual.
  • Using a garden sprinkler or hose more often due to dry weather. A garden sprinkler can use up to 1000 litres an hour which is the same usage as a family of four in 48 hours.
  • A leak on an appliance e.g. a washing machine or boiler.
  • A leak on any pipework which is your responsibility.

Still concerned about how much water you use?

You can apply for a meter logger. A logger helps you understand how, and when, the water is being used.


How can you check for a leak?

If you're worried you may have a leak, you can carry out a couple of easy tests. Follow the below instructions:

Overnight Test 1:

  • Turn off your internal stop tap.
  • Take a meter reading.
  • Leave the stop tap turned off overnight.
  • Take a second meter reading the following morning.
  • Turn your internal stop tap back on.

What did you find?

  • Overnight Test 1 - If your reading changed, there could be a leak. Please call us on 0800 052 0140. We will arrange for an inspector to visit. If your reading didn't change, please carry out overnight test 2 below.

Overnight Test 2:

  • Leave the internal stop tap on.
  • Take a meter reading when you go to bed.
  • Don't use any water after you have taken your reading.
  • Take a second meter reading the following morning.

What did you find?

  • Overnight Test 2 - If your reading changed when no water was used, this would indicate a leak inside your property. Please contact a plumber to find and fix the leak at your cost. Or if you rent the property, you may wish to contact your landlord. If your reading didn't change on either of the overnight tests, there is no leak on your water supply or inside your property.
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