A soak in the tub could cost £1,000 every year, water company warns

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Running the bath is likely to cost households over £1,000 this year, new research has forecast, more than double the price in 2022.

That follows another mammoth increase last year when the cost surged by 79 per cent. 

Altogether, between 2021 and 2023, the annual cost is expected to have vaulted from £303 a year to £1,023.

The research, put together by Yorkshire Water, found that numerous everyday actions involving water were spiralling in cost despite the fact that water rates remained unchanged.

Boiling the kettle for a cup of tea was found to be 80 per cent more expensive last year, equivalent to an extra £8.32 a year, and was expected to go up by a further £3.36 this year.

Running a dishwasher, meanwhile, nearly doubled in price last year to £236, as did the cost of using a washing machine, which reached £223.

By far the most expensive use of water, however, proved to be the humble bathtub. Water companies and environmentalists have long recommended switching from baths to shorter showers to conserve water, but the added impact of energy price spikes has created a renewed incentive.

Four minute shower

Emily Brady, of Yorkshire Water, said: “Managing water use in the home is a great way to keep bills down.

“The environmental benefits to saving water are well known, but there are also great cost savings to reducing your usage – especially when it comes to heating water.”

The figures from Yorkshire were based on three baths a week per household. The company recommended switching to five showers a week instead. It also recommended that shower users cut their ablutions from eight to four minutes.

Added up, the average household could save £700 a year, the utility company said.

The recommendations came as fears of further energy price spikes eased, with milder winters and successful self-rationing across Europe driving down demand.

Nevertheless, prices are considerably higher than they were before the rebound from Covid lockdowns and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent them skyrocketing.

Cornwall Insight, an energy consultancy, predicted last week that the energy price cap set by Ofgem would actually fall below the Government’s energy price guarantee by the summer.

The government scheme, which will pay suppliers for any cost above the guarantee, promises to keep the average household bill at no more than £2,500, rising to £3,000 in April.

Falling wholesale prices across Europe

Cornwall Insight, meanwhile, expects the energy cap to remain at £2,800 throughout the year. In the autumn of 2021, Ofgem’s price cap had sat at just £1,042.

Despite falling wholesale prices across Europe, the impact will take several months or more to impact household bills. This is because energy companies tend to purchase their supply well in advance, to hedge against further price changes.

If prices do remain below the guarantee level, it will be a boon for Government finances. The first three months of the scheme are believed to have cost £16 billion, but the overall price tag may now be limited to £37 billion.

Last month, ministers launched a multi-million-pound advertising campaign which featured ways to save energy, such as turning down a boiler’s flow temperature.

The scheme had originally been drawn up under Liz Truss’s government, but the then-prime minister vetoed it over fears it was too “nannying”. That was despite every bit of saving by households helping to reduce the cost of the energy price guarantee.

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, was forced to reduce the generosity of both the domestic and business price guarantees because of the catastrophic economic fallout from Ms Truss’s short-lived government.

Source: telegraph.co.uk