Explaining your bill

We think it’s a good thing to know exactly what you pay for in life, and your water bill is no exception. Like any other company, we have our own jargon which can sound confusing – cubic metres, surface water drainage, sewerage services – so we’ve created an interactive bill to explain your charges in simple terms.

On the right hand side there are two bills to choose from – one if you have a meter, one if your bill is based on the rateable value of your home. Please click the version which applies to you.

Interactive Bill

If you have a water meter

If you don't have a water meter

Water bill page 1

Account number

You will be asked to quote this number when you contact us. You will also need it when registering for our My Account service.

Sign up for My Account

Why not sign up and go paperless, pay online, set up a Direct Debit and more

Freephone payments line

Call this number 24 hours a day if you would like to make a card payment

Pay online

Visit unitedutilities.com/paybill to make a card payment via our website

 

Amount due

Your charges for this bill are based on how much water you've used since your last bill, less any payments you have made since your last bill. The next page of this bill explains how we use your meter reading to calculate your charges.

Information panel

We use this space to tell you about our services, or to provide information specifically about your account. In this example we have promoted paying your water bill via Direct Debit. We also reduce your bill by £5 a year when you pay via this method.

Water bill page 2

Water usage section

Your water meter records how much water you use in cubic metres. In the last six months this customer has used 48 cubic metres of water. Each cubic metre is 1,000 litres of water, so 48 cubic metres is 48,000 litres.

Serial number

This is the serial number of your meter, and is shown on the face of the meter.

Meter readings

These readings are taken from your water meter. We only use the black and white digits, as these record cubic metres. Each cubic metre is 1,000 litres of water and we charge you for each cubic metre of water you use. In this example the customer has used 48 cubic metres, which is 48,000 litres of water. This video shows how easy it is to read your meter.

Water charges

Your water charge consists of:

  • A charge for the amount of water you have used (which is based on your meter reading) and is shown on the bill as 'Volume charge';
  • A standing charge.

Water standing charge

The water standing charge is an annual charge and covers essential services such as reading your meter, sending bills and dealing with enquiries. As the bill shown in this example only covers part of the year, only a proportion of the total annual charge is payable.

Water volume charge

Your water charge is shown as 'Volume charge' and we calculate this based on how much water you have used, recorded on your meter as cubic metres. We multiply how many cubic metres of water you have used with our unit cost, which is shown here on your bill.

As you pay for all the water you use, it makes sense to make sure you're not wasting it. Our water efficiency section contains lots of useful advice on how to save water and shrink your bill.

Wastewater charges

Your wastewater charge consists of:

  • A charge for taking away all your used water, cleaning and returning it to rivers and the sea (which is based on your meter reading and is shown on your bill as 'Volume charge'); 
  • An annual charge for taking away rainwater from your home and roads, which we call surface water/highway drainage charges;
  • A standing charge.

Wastewater standing charge

The standing charge is an annual fixed charge. As the bill in this example only covers part of the year, only a proportion of the total annual charge is payable.

Wastewater volume charge

Your wastewater volume charge is what you pay for us to take away your used water, clean and return it to rivers and the sea. This charge is based on your meter reading, recorded in cubic metres (which is explained in the 'meter reading' section). We multiply how many cubic metres of water you have used with our unit cost, which is shown here on your bill.

Don't forget, as your wastewater volume charge is based on your meter reading you can reduce both your water and your wastewater charges by using water wisely. Our water efficiency section contains lots of useful advice on how to shrink your bill.

Surface water and highway drainage

Taking away rainwater that falls on your home and public roads is what we call 'Surface water and highway drainage' and is a fixed annual charge. As the bill in this example only covers part of the year, only a proportion of the total annual charge is payable.

If your home is not connected to the public sewer to drain away your rainwater (for example, all the surface water drains to a soakaway instead) we can reduce your bill. Our surface water drainage page explains more.

Support when you need it

If you're going through a tough financial patch and finding it hard to meet your payments, please get in touch on 0800 072 6765. We're easy to talk to and we have a range of support schemes for different financial circumstances.

Water bill page 1

Account number

You will be asked to quote this number when you contact us. You will also need it when registering for our My Account service.

Sign up for My Account

Why not sign up and go paperless, pay online, set up a Direct Debit and more

Freephone payments line

Call this number 24 hours a day if you would like to make a card payment

Pay online

Visit unitedutilities.com/paybill to make a card payment via our website.

 

 

Charges

As you don’t have a water meter, your charges for the year ahead are calculated using the rateable value of your home (unitedutilities.com/about-rateable-value). Your water and wastewater charges are shown on page 2. You may be able to reduce your bill by applying for a water meter – see unitedutilities.com/meters for full details and to apply online.

Information panel

We use this space to tell you about our services, or to provide information specifically about your account. In this example we have promoted water meters as you may be able to make a big saving on your bill by applying for a free water meter. See unitedutilities.com/meters for full details and to apply.

Sign up for My Account

Why not sign up and go paperless, pay online, set up a Direct Debit and more

Water charges

Your water charges include:

  • A charge for your water (which is calculated using the rateable value of your home)
  • A standing charge

Water standing charge

The standing charge is a fixed annual charge and ensures costs for delivering water, sending bills and dealing with enquiries are shared fairly between customers.

Water rateable value charges

Your charge for water is calculated using your home's rateable value. We calculate your water charge by multiplying the rateable value of your home by our unit rate for water. It's important to remember that rateable value charging is not related to how much water you use. Depending on your circumstances you might be able to reduce your bill by having a water meter fitted. We fit meters for free and if you change your mind or find that you're not making a saving you can switch back to rateable value within 24 months of the meter being fitted. Try our water usage calculator to see if you could be better off.

Wastewater charges

Your wastewater charge is calculated using the rateable value of your home and pays for the following services:

  • Taking way your used water, cleaning it and returning it to rivers and the sea;
  • Taking away rainwater that falls on your home and the roads (which we call 'surface water and highway drainage'). If your home is not connected to the public sewer to drain away your rainwater (for example, all your surface water drains to a soakaway instead), we can reduce your bill. Visit our surface water drainage section to download a claim form.

Wastewater rateable value charges

We calculate your wastewater services charge using your home's rateable value. We do this by multiplying the rateable value of your home by our unit rate for wastewater, which is shown here on your bill.

Support when you need it

If you're going through a tough financial patch and finding it hard to meet your payments, please get in touch on 0800 072 6765. We're easy to talk to and we have a range of support schemes for different financial circumstances.