Small changes to the way you use water may help save on your household’s water bills. This article shares tips to reduce water usage and guidance on the help available if you are having trouble paying your water bill.
Tips to help save on water usage
- Fix water leaks. One of the easiest ways to save water is to fix any leaks in your home. Leaks can lose a lot of water over time, so be sure to check your taps, toilets, and pipes regularly
- Install water efficient tapware, showerheads, and toilets to help reduce the amount of water you use
- There are free showerhead exchange programs in some cities and regions around Australia. See the Australian Government’s rebates sorter, your local council or water retailer to find out more
- Take shorter showers. Showers can be a major source of water waste, so try to keep them as short as possible. Consider using a timer or installing a low-flow showerhead to help reduce the amount of water used
- Turn off the tap. When you're brushing your teeth or washing your face, turn off the tap when you're not actively using it
- Use a dishwasher and washing machine efficiently. Wait until you have a full load before using your dishwasher or washing machine and consider using the eco-setting to save water
- The Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has further guidance for households on water efficient appliances and fixtures.
Options for help with your water bills
If you are having difficulty paying your water bills because of the rising cost of living, there are a few options available to help you.
- Contact your water company. Get in touch with your water company and explain your situation before the due date shown on your bill. They may be able to offer you a payment plan or other assistance, such as deferred payments, to help you manage your bills
- Check your eligibility for concessions. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for concessions or rebates on your water bills. Check with your water company or state government to see if you qualify
- Seek financial assistance. You may be eligible for financial assistance from the government or community organisations. Enquire with the organisations shown below, your local council or state government for information on available programs
- Consider financial counselling. Financial counsellors can help you develop a budget and create a plan to manage your expenses. You can access free financial counselling through the National Debt Helpline or a local financial counselling service.
Organisations providing assistance with water bills
In Australia, there are various organisations and programs that offer assistance with water bills, depending on where you live. Here is a list of resources for each state and territory:
New South Wales
- WaterFix® Residential provides free water efficiency services to eligible customers.
- Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) Scheme provides financial assistance to low-income households to help them pay their energy and water bills.
- Victorian Concessions offers various concessions to eligible low-income households, including a concession on water bills.
- South East Water's Financial Assistance offers support with paying bills to eligible customers.
You may be eligible for a concession to reduce your water bills. Contact your water provider to apply or visit Concessions Finder Queensland.
The Hardship Utility Grants Scheme provides financial assistance to Western Australian utility customers who are experiencing financial hardship.
South Australian Government's Water and Sewerage Rate Concession provides eligible low or fixed income households with financial assistance to help pay their water and sewerage rates.
Tasmania’s Water and Sewerage Concession Eligible TasWater customers are entitled to receive the Tasmanian Government funded water and sewerage concession.
Power and Water's Assistance for Concessions and Seniors The Northern Territory Concession Scheme and the Northern Territory Seniors Recognition Scheme can assist with your water and power costs.
Remember that it's important to act as soon as you realise you may have difficulties paying your water bills. Service providers, in some circumstances, may charge interest on late or unpaid bills. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Acting sooner rather than later may help avoid further problems in future.
Things you should know
This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
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