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Water bills will rise by 7.5 percent from April to account for water firms’ increased investment in , bringing the average Briton’s water bill up to around £450 a year. Financial journalist explained the ‘rule of thumb’ for the most cost-effective way to manage the bill, and it all depends on how many people there are in a household.

Speaking at this year’s Ideal Home Show which opened on Friday, March 17, and will run until Sunday, April 2 at Olympia London, Mr Lewis suggested those with a larger house and fewer people might consider opting to switch to a water meter.

He said: “We have privatisation of water bills but no competition, what a marvellous solution that is, that you can’t move your water company but they can make profits. I don’t quite understand why but it’s just a situation where you’re stuck with whomever your water company is.”

He continued: “A big question for most people is, do I switch to a water meter? Now some of you may have had a water meter put on you by force or you moved into a property with a water meter and you have no choice, you cannot choose back.

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“But for those of you who currently have water bills, you can opt to move to a water meter. Then you have roughly a year or two years depending on which company, to move back to water bills if it doesn’t work for you.

“So here’s the rule of thumb. Say, if you have a four-bedroom house and there are three of you living there, the likelihood is you are better off on a water meter.”

Mr Lewis explained that this is because water bills are based on the value of a person’s house, meaning that the bigger the house, the bigger the water bills will be.

He continued: “Of course, if you move to a water meter, then you’re being measured on the water that goes in and the water that goes out – the sewerage charge goes into it as well.

“So, the fewer people you have in the house the lower your water meter will be. Hence the equation: big house with few people, better on a water meter, small house with lots of people, you’re better on water bills.”

Mr Lewis also issued a quick energy update ahead of April’s price rise for those bills, too.

He said: “ are hideous at the moment, they’re more than twice the price we used to traditionally pay.”

Over the winter, he noted: “We’ve had the energy price guarantee which was the Government solution to high energy bills, which, if it had not been in place, we would have been paying triple what previous energy bills were.”

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Mr Lewis told listeners: “What was going to happen this April is we were due to have a 20 percent increase in the price guarantee.

“Your bills were going to go up by 20 percent in April. I wrote to the Chancellor a month ago backed by 135 charities and the energy industry. [Last] week in the Budget, the Chancellor agreed to that letter that the 20 percent rise will not now happen in April.”

However, it should be noted that the £400 energy bill support scheme ends in March, meaning eligible households will no longer be receiving the monthly £66 to £67 discount and bills will still be marginally higher in April as a result.