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Water bills rise by 3.5 per cent on 1 April

A 3.5 per cent rise in water prices, which takes effect on 1 April 2013, will add a further £13 to annual household costs according to comparison and switching service uSwitch.

The price rise from Ofwat, the economic regulator for water and sewerage in the UK, will see the average household water bill increase to £388 this year.

uSwitch says that, after the last round of price rises from the UK's six biggest energy suppliers, rising water costs will leave households struggling to make ends meet this year.

Director of consumer policy at uSwitch, Ann Robinson, said: "Following the wave of winter price hikes from the big six, consumers now face coughing up a staggering £1,740 a year on energy, water and sewerage alone. The relentless rise in the cost of household bills could leave consumers simply unable to stay afloat. And despite recent profit announcements, energy suppliers have not ruled out further price rises this year so the squeeze on household budgets could continue to tighten."

uSwitch advises consumers to consider the pros and cons of switching to a water meter, which could lead to savings for some households. Robinson continues: "It is therefore more important than ever for consumers to act and ensure they are not paying over the odds for household bills. Although there may not be the option of switching to a cheaper water supplier, households can move to a water meter, which could save them £54 a year."