Thousands of households across the Midlands could be missing out on lower water bills because they are unaware they can trial a meter for up to two years, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has warned.

The consumer watchdog is concerned only one in five water customers of Severn Trent Water and South Staffs Water who pay fixed charges know they can trial a meter and switch back for free if they don’t save money or decide it’s not for them.

The findings emerged from CCWater’s Water Matters survey, which also showed that one in eight water customers felt their water bills were not affordable.

CCWater is now urging customers to use its online water meter calculator to see whether they might be better off switching to a meter, before taking the plunge.

Professor Bernard Crump, Central and Eastern Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “A water meter will not benefit everyone but we know that in some cases households can save more than £100 a year. Even the smallest saving could make all the difference to customers who are struggling to make ends meet.”

“Almost everyone who opts for a meter chooses to stick with it, but many customers need that assurance they can switch back anytime within the trial period.”

As a general rule of thumb, it’s worth a customer considering a water meter if they have the same or more bedrooms than people living in their property.

CCWater’s water meter calculator has helped almost 270,000 consumers identify potential annual savings totalling more than £14.5 million during the past year.