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What is the average water bill in Australia?

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In this Canstar Blue guide, we reveal the average water bill for households in each state and territory as shared by everyday Aussies. We also list some tips and tricks to help reduce your next water bill.

Not only is water a resource we often take for granted, it’s a household utility bill we begrudgingly have to pay every few months, while costs only ever seem to go in one direction. This leads to questioning the amount on your water bills, as well as being curious about what your neighbour pays.

That’s why we have compiled a guide on average water bills across the country. We show average water bills in each state, and by age group, household size and income, plus list a few things you should keep an eye out for.

What is the average water bill in Australia?

Canstar Blue’s most recent utilities survey, conducted in January 2024, found the average quarterly water bill in Australia to be $217 – up from $208 in 2023. Households in the Northern Territory reported the lowest average water bills at $180 per quarter, while respondents in the Australian Capital Territory reported the highest average at $244 each quarter. These findings are based on each survey respondent’s last water bill.

Average water bills across the states

The following table shows average quarterly water bills across Australia, based on a Canstar Blue survey of 1,690 households. The costs reported include households of all sizes.

State Average Quarterly Water Bill
Northern Territory $180
South Australia $200
Tasmania $200
Victoria $208
New South Wales $216
Western Australia $233
Queensland $235

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2024.

As outlined above, households in QLD have the highest water bills, followed by SA and WA. Households in VIC report the lowest quarterly bills, with NSW not far behind. Keep reading for a detailed analysis of average water bills across each state and territory.

Compare cheap electricity plans

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

What is the average water bill by household size?

The table below displays average water bills in Australia per quarter by household size.

Household Size Average Quarterly Water Bill
1 $158
2 $220
3 $228
4 $229
5+ $254

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2024.

Bills by household size have also spiked in the last 12 months, with the average quarterly cost for a one-person home increasing from $158 in 2023 to $179 in 2024. Larger households pay significantly more for water, with a difference of almost $100 each quarter between the smallest and largest properties.

What is the average water bill by age group?

Our 2024 survey also broke down average water bills by age group on a national level.

Age Group Average Quarterly Water Bill
18 to 29 years $221
30 to 39 years $223
40 to 49 years $204
50 to 59 years $233
60 to 69 years $224
70 years and over $201

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2024.

Traditionally, water bills tend to be drop as Aussies age, due to factors such as concessions or rebates as well as the general usage habits of each age group. However, it appears the difference in average water bill costs between young and old is beginning to decrease.

Compared to our 2023 research, older Australians are actually paying more for water per quarter in 2024. Survey respondents in the 50 to 59 years age group were paying $192 in 2023, while Aussies 60 to 69 received a similar average bill of $191 each quarter. Prices for those in the 70+ group have also increased by almost $50 per quarter, after paying an average of $156 for each bill in 2023.

What is the average water bill by household income?

The following table shows average water bills per quarter by household income.

Household Income Average Quarterly Water Bill
Less than $30,000 $185
$30,000 to $49,999 $175
$50,000 to $79,999 $213
$80,000 to $119,999 $237
$120,000 to $149,999 $236
$150,000 to $199,999 $240
More than $200,000 $250

Source: Canstar Blue research, January 2024.

In our survey findings, it appears that lower income households do pay less for water than higher income households, although there could be multiple factors at play here. For example, a higher income household would likely be living in a larger home, and in turn, using more water. Aussies with a lower household income may also just be more conscious about water usage when compared to homes with less restrictive budgets.

Compare cheap gas deals

Gas Plans Compared in VIC

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for VIC. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Melbourne and yearly gas usage of 29,830MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in NSW

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for NSW. These estimated annual costs are based on the Jemena Gas Network in Sydney and yearly gas usage of 18,542MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in WA

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for WA. These estimated annual costs are based on the ATCO Network in Perth and yearly gas usage of 7,672 (units), but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in SA

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for SA. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Adelaide and yearly gas usage of 11,875MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Gas Plans Compared in QLD

Here are some of the cheapest gas deals on our database for QLD. These estimated annual costs are based on the Australian Gas Network in Brisbane and yearly gas usage of 6,842MJ, but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest estimated cost. This table includes products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

What impacts water bill costs?

Australian money in kitchen drain

No matter what type of household you’re in, somebody is footing the water bill – and whether you’re a tenant, landlord or owner-occupier, no two bills are ever the same. While comparing your water bill to the average may give you a little peace of mind, there are a few factors that can add pressure to your water costs. These include:

  • Seasonal water usage: Differences between warmer and cooler months can result in a huge impact on water usage habits. In summer, you may water your garden more, while in winter you may take longer showers.
  • Water usage habits: Has there been a change in water consumption? Perhaps you’ve added new lawn to your backyard which needs the sprinklers on longer, or you’ve added another family member to your home (fur babies included!).
  • Water leaks: A leaky pipe or toilet can easily blow out your water bill, and often you may not even know about it. Hire a licenced plumber to take a look or conduct your own meter read to identify if water is leaking somewhere.
  • Large appliances: Most appliances that use water will come with a water efficiency label, indicating how much water they need to operate. Dishwashers and washing machines are the main culprits, so be sure to check the efficiency of your appliances’ cycle settings.
  • Where you live: Much like electricity and gas, you’re not only charged for using water, but also for having water supplied to your address. If you live in a regional area or a region with a desalination plant, you could be paying more than somebody else a few postcodes away.
  • Water bill readings: Most households will have their water meters read by their local water company – usually every three months. You can, however, conduct your own meter reading and send it through to your supplier.

How can I reduce my water bill costs?

Chances are you’re not overly happy with the price you’re paying for water. There is a silver lining though – by being mindful of a few things, you can easily start to see your overall water costs trickle downhill.

You should start by identifying where the greatest water consumption is coming from and take some practical measures to reduce it. This could mean taking shorter showers, only using the dishwasher or washing machine when you really need to, or simply turning the tap off when you brush your teeth! From here, you’ll be able to better recognise ways to save and hopefully, lower those water bills.

Image credits: Roman R/Shutterstock.com, MichaelHahn/Shutterstock.com

Original Author: Jared Mullane

Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

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