Low-income households have been especially hit by rising energy bills, but there are many ways you can Still save money on your water costs.
water companies Currently provide a range of support For struggling families that can cut your bill by up to £500.
have water bills growing up to £36 per year With some parts of the UK seeing above inflation.
This comes as water regulator, OffWat, urged firms to provide more support for customers who are struggling to make payments.
Proposed changes include providing more flexible payment options for customers zero hour contract And making full use of data to find customers who are struggling.
Research by the regulator has revealed that more than half of water bill payers believe they will struggle to pay utility bills in the coming year, with 7 out of 10 having children at home Will go
Emma Kelso, Senior Director of OffWat, said: “We are delighted to see that water companies have extended their support during the height of the pandemic, and with many more households now likely to experience financial hardship in the coming months, we wish that companies continue to go above and beyond for customers.
“Our new guidelines are clear on what water companies can do to support customers. They can make it easier to understand and pay bills, help those who need further support, and if they are behind. If they fall, we can go ahead to help people pay their debts.”
Unlike energy companies, you can’t shop around for a new water supplier and stay with the one providing the supply in your area.
But low-income families may still be able to reduce their water bills – we explain what help is available so you can get extra cash.
Support for beneficiaries – up to £534
Low income families can apply for WarerSure scheme Save hundreds of pounds on their bill every year.
If you claim Universal Credit or a number of other benefits, you may be able to limit your water bill.
You must already have a water meter installed to qualify for the plan, and prove that you need to use a lot of water.
You must have three or more children under the age of 19 in the household, and receive child benefits for them.
Or, you need to prove that you have a medical condition that requires extra water from you.
It can be conditions such as weeping skin diseases such as psoriasis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Suppliers determine the cost of water bills under this plan based on the average household bill charged by your water company.
Ask your own supplier what plans it has or Check out CCW’s round-up With regard to the various assistance available.
The Water Consumers Council estimates that you will save an average of £270.
But depending on who your supplier is, you can save a lot – Yorkshire Water said its customers could save £534 a year.
Supplier’s own plans – £350 . until
As well as offering the WaterSure plan to struggling families, suppliers also offer their own support plans.
Many water companies provide assistance to customers who cannot pay their bills.
Exactly what help you can get and who is eligible will depend on who your supplier is.
But Yorkshire Water, for example, says customers can save an average of £212 with its Water Support plan.
Your annual bill must be £421.42 or more, and you must provide proof that you are struggling to pay your bills – this could be bank statements, benefits award notices and pay slips.
If you earn less than £16,480 or less than £20,111 in the City of London, Thames Water will cut your bill by 50%.
While Severn Trent can get up to 90% off your bill under the Big Difference Scheme – your household income must be less than £16,480.
The average household bill for Severn Trent customers is £389 a year. Now prices have gone up – this means you can get £350 off your bill.
clear your debt
If you’re struggling to pay your water bills, some suppliers may agree to reduce or erase your debt.
Yorkshire Water, for example, offers rewards to customers who owe between £50 and £2,000 to help pay off their debt.
While South East Water will also give grants to people who are in debt under its Helping Hands scheme – your debt will have been built up over several years.
There is no guarantee of how much you may be awarded – it will depend on who your supplier is and your financial situation.
You should contact your water provider for more information.
Another way that can help save on water bills is to use a water meter – a fan of Martin Lewis explains how £360 saved per year on water bills by using a meter.
Meanwhile, a Water expert shares his top tips to cut your bill.
Other than this, Universal Credit deprives more than a million people of extra cash – Here’s how you can check if you’re eligible.
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