Many of us take our water supply for granted but, of course, it’s a commodity that we all have to pay for. Most people are noticing that their quarterly water bills are increasing regularly, and this could cause you to wonder where the money is going and whether everyone else’s bill is as high as yours.
If you want to find out how your water bills compare to the average cost, as well as discover ways that you can help to lower your water bill, this blog asks “how much is the average water bill?” and looks at ways that you can reduce it.
What costs does your water bill include?
Your water bill is formed of a number of different charges. In some areas, certain customers may also be subject to additional charges for non-drinking water. Some of the charges included in your water bill are payable even if you use no water at all, meaning you’ll never be able to completely reduce your water bill to nothing.
In the Gold Coast, the local council buys water from the local bulk supply owner. The council is then responsible for getting water into each individual property, and the costs associated with this are included in your water bill.
Water access charge
The water access charge is a fixed sum that pays for your property’s access to water. This is payable regardless of whether or not water is actually used.
Water usage charge
The water usage charge is determined by how much water you actually use, measured by your water meter. Meter readings are normally taken every three months in the Gold Coast. The water usage charge is divided into two parts – the actual cost of the water you used and the cost of delivering it to your property.
Sewerage access charge
This charge is another fixed cost for your property to access sewerage systems. Similarly to the water access charge, the sewerage access charge applies regardless of whether any sewage was discharged from the property.
How much is the average water bill?
The average cost of a water bill varies between different states. In May 2020, the average water bill for the whole of Australia was $272 each quarter. In Queensland the average bill was higher than the national average, coming in at $300 per quarter. Queensland had the third-highest average water bill, falling behind South Australia and Tasmania. Residents of South Australia face an average water bill of $324, whilst the average bill is the highest in Tasmania, where it costs $365.
The average quarterly water bill costs significantly less in some parts of the country. In Victoria the average bill is $259, in New South Wales it’s $246, and Western Australia has the cheapest average quarterly water bill in the country at $234.
These figures cover households of all sizes, and it’s natural that larger households are going to have higher bills. Across the whole country, the average quarterly bill for a single person household was $221, whilst for households of five or more people, it came to $372.
What factors influence your water bill?
You’re likely to see your water bill change and fluctuate throughout the year. There are various factors that can cause your water bill to increase at certain times.
During the hot summer months, you’re more likely to use more water for things like taking extra showers, filling your pool, or watering your garden. Over time these costs can add up to a significant increase.
An undetected leak can sometimes be the cause of a bill that’s higher than you expected. An experienced plumber can help with detecting and repairing any leaks.
If your habits have recently changed and you’re now using more water, this will impact your bill. This could be something like having an extra person in the household or using your outdoor sprinklers for longer than usual.
Appliances like dishwashers or washing machines can use up a significant amount of water. Check the water efficiency label on your appliance to find out how much it needs to use. Installing a new appliance could be the cause of an increasing bill.
Where you live
Because you’re paying for access to water as well as delivery, the area you live in can be a factor. Residents in Brisbane and the Gold Coast could pay different amounts for using the same quantity of water. If you’ve recently moved to a new area and your water bill is higher than you expected, the location could be part of the reason.
Ways to reduce your water bill
If you’re concerned about the cost of your bill there are steps you can take to bring the costs down. Checking for leaks is an important first step – if you suspect that you have a leak then it’s important to find a plumber who can detect and repair leaks.
You can work to reduce how much water you use at home. Aim to take a shorter shower that lasts a maximum of four minutes – this could make a big difference if several members of the household do the same thing. You can also turn off the tap whilst you brush your teeth and only use the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load.
In the garden, you can re-use your shower or bath water for watering your plants. You could also water your car on your lawn so that the lawn benefits from the same water. When you’re watering your garden, use a bucket, watering can, or trigger nozzle hose to minimise how much water goes to waste.
Queensland plumbing specialists
If you need reliable and qualified plumbers in Queensland, Oceanside Services can help. We offer a range of trustworthy plumbing services, including leak detection. We cover a wide service area including the Gold Coast and Brisbane. To book a job with us or find out more about the services we provide please contact us or book online.