MORE than 1 million customers have had their water bills reduced during the pandemic in the UK.
It’s possible that by 2024, at least 1.4million people will be getting help with their water bills, Ofwat has said.
The average annual water bill is predicted to go from £410 t0 £408 a year, although this will vary between providers.
Customers get help to pay their water bills in different ways, including payment breaks, flexible payment methods, and special discounts if they’re on a low income or receiving special benefits.
How to apply for a reduction in your water bill
Water companies offer a variety of discounts and support, so if you’re struggling to pay your bill, get in touch with your provider and ask what they can offer.
You can find the contact details for water companies such as Anglian Water, Essex & Suffolk Water and Southern Water here .
Different companies have different rules on how much you can save and how to apply.
Some companies will carry out individual financial assessments, while others offer reduced rates for households whose income is below a certain specified level.
You can see what your water company offers and the rules for applying here.
What help is available?
HERE’S all the different ways you can get help with your water bill:
- A scheme called WaterSure allows water companies to cap bills for low-income customers who use a lot of water for essential family or health reasons. Here’s what you need to be able to apply for the scheme:
If you or anyone in your household, receive any of these benefits or tax credits:
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Universal Credit
- Child Tax Credit (other than just the family element)
- Income-related employment and support allowance
IMPORTANT: The person who receives the benefit or tax credit must also receive child benefit for three or more children under 19 living in the household.
- Payment breaks which mean you can pause your payments are available depending on which water provider you use. Most water companies will have payment support schemes such as social tariffs as well, which you’re eligible for if you’re on a low income or receiving special benefits.
- These organisations including Turn2Us, The Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice offer support to people who are unable to pay their water bills
If you fall behind on your water bill and can’t afford to pay your debts there’s plenty of help available.
You can contact your water supplier or visit their homepage to see what services are available.
To check who your provider is you can enter your postcode here.
DiscoverWater UK surveyed over 6,000 customers, and results showed that roughly 10% of people struggled to pay their water bill.
Christine McGourty from Water UK said water companies are committed to giving customers good value for money.
“It’s been a difficult year for so many people, and water companies throughout have been actively seeking out customers who might benefit from extra support.
“I would urge anyone who’s concerned about their bill to get in touch with their water company to see what help is available.”
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How can you find out if you’re eligible?
The Consumer Council for Water has a Benefits Calculator which can help customers work out if they are entitled to additional financial help.
Each water company gives different support, with some assisting charities which provide additional help too.
A spokesperson from WaterUK said people should get in touch with their local water company if they have concerns about their bill.
They said: “Companies will always look to provide the appropriate support for each individual customer’s circumstances. “
Find out if your water provider offers extra support here.
If you’re looking for ways to cut down your water bill, look at our money saving tips for the month here.