PEOPLE with hot tubs could be charged more under plans being considered by the water regulator, Ofwat.
It comes as households scramble for ways to cut bills in the cost of living crisis.
If you've got a hot tub for summer – you might need to be careful next year.
People who have one could be charged more under suggestions made by the regulator.
At the moment, water bills are set on a flat standard amount based on the type of property they live in, or on flat rate based on their use as measured by a water meter.
But Ofwat is pushing for news ways to calculate bills to make sure customers get all the help they need – pushing suppliers to “think differently”.
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Commenting on the plans Ofwat boss David Black, said: "We are all very aware of the impact of the rising cost of living and we want to see the water sector become more active, assertive and inventive to support customers who are struggling to make ends meet.
"Now more than ever, it is time for water companies to show they get and can respond to the needs of their customers. Bills are a huge concern to customers, and we need to see radical fresh thinking from companies."
The push to charge hot tubs users is to encourage water efficiency by reducing overall water use.
The cost of a hot tub will depend on multiple factors, including the size of tub, type of the pump, and how often you use it.
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According to WhatSpa?, the most energy-efficient hot tubs will cost between £2.20 and £3 per day to run.
That's based on current energy tariffs of around 28p per kWh for electricity.
What else is Ofwat proposing?
Since energy costs are rising in the winter, Ofwat is also proposing suppliers introduce seasonal charging.
That would mean water bills would be lower when energy bills rise.
Energy bills will be rising to £2,500 from October for the average household but it could be more depending on how much energy you use.
Its also calling to eliminate in-home leakage and lower bills for those on meters – the exact amount you pay will again depend on where you live, how much you are charged and how much water you use if you have a water meter fitted.
A spokesperson for Anglian Water has confirmed 90% of its customers are already on water meters, so they are currently paying for the water they use.
The spokesperson said: "We know this year is going to be incredibly challenging for a large number of our customers.
"We’re incredibly proud of the support provided over the last year but it is clear that the next 12 months are going be tougher, and we all need to take action."
The Sun has also contacted Scottish Water, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent, Wessex Water and Thames Water for comment.
Bills might also be lowered for homes with water butts and permeable driveways installed because it helps tackle flooding and pollution.
What help can I get with my water bills?
Moving to a water meter could could help some save some extra cash.
One mum more than HALVED her water bill after getting a meter – saving over £200 a year.
Obviously if you do use a lot of water then it makes no sense to have a meter as your bills could go UP.
The Consumer Council for Water offers a free water meter calculator that'll tell you if you can save by fitting a water meter.
For example, if you have a big family and more people than bedrooms or simply use lots of water intensive appliances like washing machines or dishwashers, a fixed fee will be better for you.
Having a water meter doesn't help with the standard charge that's based on where you live either, but it can help you cut down the costs of your personal usage at home.
Part of that is how long you spend in the shower too.
According to Uswitch you could cut £70 from your energy bills and reduce your water bills too by reducing your wash time.
And leaving the water running while you brush your teeth could add £60 a year to your bills says Octopus.
The same goes for washing dishes, be sure you turn the tap off as if you’re doing it in the sink, leaving it running will add £25 to your annual bill.
Many water companies offer free water-saving devices that shave pounds off your bills too.
Contact your supplier or check out savewatersavemoney.co.uk.
And you can get help to cover the costs of your water bill too.
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But if you're worried about being able to afford bills comfortably this winter, there are still plenty of organisations and charities here to help. Here's a few to start you off:
- StepChange: 0800 138 1111
- Citizens Advice: 0808 223 1133
- National Debtline: 0808 808 4000
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