Utility bills can add up, especially when you’re trying to budget and make your savings stretch. If you’ve never had to deal with them before, then you’re probably shocked at how much water bills can rack up. Fortunately, there are many simple things you and your housemates can do to reduce your water use, help the environment, and save more of that all-important student loan. Here’s a few ideas:

Switch to a water meter

Before you move into your new home, make sure you ask your landlord whether the house’s water supply is based on fixed rates or a water meter. Generally, water bills in the UK are dependent on rates, which means that you pay a set monthly amount, regardless of how much water you use. But, if you are on a fixed water rate, then switching to a water meter can offer lots of benefits, the most important being that you’ll only have to pay for the water that you actually use.

A water meter also help you to be more water smart. Plus, most water companies will fit a meter in your new home for free, so you won’t have to pay an installation fee when you switch. Bonus. Just don’t forget to speak to your landlord before having a water meter installed on your home.

Limit your water usage

One of the easiest ways to lower your water bills is by reducing the amount of water that you and your housemates actually use. Try and use your water responsibly, limiting your water usage wherever possible. Persuade your housemates to do the same so that you can all spend less on bills and more on things you actually love.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are our tips for saving water in your home (that don’t include skipping showers):

Install water-saving gadgets

There’s so many gadgets available that can help lower your water bills, like shower heads, tap inserts, toilet flushers, and water recyclers. Water efficiency company, Save Water Save Money offers many of these gadgets to homes for free.

Installing water-saving gadgets can be a simple way to instantly reduce your water use and save you money. Again, speak with your landlord before making any changes to your student home.

Adopt water-saving habits

Even minor lifestyle changes can help you save large amounts of water. For instance, the average bath uses up to 50 gallons of water, whereas a 10-minute shower with a low-flow shower head uses just 25 gallons. So, and this may be easier said than done, but for that reason, you should encourage your housemates to stick to short showers instead of long baths (sorry). Other easy ways to reduce your water, include turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, and only running the washing machine when there’s have a full load. And if you’re suddenly faced with a water leak, try and get it repaired ASAP. You’ll probably have to nag your landlord, but it’ll definitely save you money in the long run.

Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances

Replacing old appliances is not your responsibility when you live in a student house. Now, we know that some landlords can be reluctant to change things when there’s no emergency, but they may be willing to upgrade if you can show them the differences it can make. For example, upgrading household appliances, such as your washing machine and dishwasher, can save huge amounts of water and significantly reduce your water bill.  A high-efficiency washer can save 6,000 gallons of water per year, and, if you’re lucky enough to have a landlord who pays for the water meter on your home, then upgrading will save them money too.

Final thoughts

Reducing the amount of water you use in your household is an awesome way to help the environment, lower your water bills, and stretch your student loan a little further. This way, you’ll can live more comfortably throughout your uni life, avoiding budgeting worries in the future.