Households can act now to get help with water bills

Households struggling to cope with a wave of rising living costs can take action now to dilute the impact of water bills, ahead of any increase in charges this April.

The Consumer Council for Water (CCW) says only 1 in 4 customers are aware that water companies have schemes that can reduce the water bills of low-income customers. This is at a time when many households are being impacted by the cost of living crisis - compounded by yesterday’s confirmation of another sharp rise in energy bills.

Water companies across the UK have announced the new water charges for 2022/23, with our new average charge across all our customers for clean water amounting to around 50p per day.

However, average bills do not tell the full story of what many customers will typically experience. Some households could see their bill fall but others may face an increase significantly above the average. That’s because what people are charged depends on a range of factors including whether they have a water meter and how much water they use - something that has become much harder to predict during the pandemic.

With the rise in all living costs, it’s vital customers to soak up it all money-saving advice and seek support from if they are worried about their bill. 

“Any increase in water bills will be unwelcome for the millions of households already buckling under the pressure of other rising costs. Covid-19 has also made it even harder for people to anticipate how much water they will use at home – that’s why it’s vital customers take advantage of untapped support.”

“Some households could potentially save hundreds of pounds by switching to a water meter, while others on a low income may be eligible for water companies’ wide range of assistance schemes. Simple steps to reduce your hot water use could also take some of the heat out of rising energy costs.”

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive CCW – the voice for water consumers.

“Over the last few years we have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our customers are aware of all the financial support we offer.

“We’ve seen a growing number of customers seek help and we now have over 5,190 customers receiving financial support from us, with 2,606 on our Assure tariff for people on low incomes.

“However, we know that there are more people who may need help, so we’re trying really hard to let our customers know; through inserts with the bills, email, texts, social media and talking to customers when they phone us and getting out into the community as much as we can.

If anyone is struggling, please contact us. They can visit our website, contact us through Facebook or Twitter or give us a call on 0800 09 30 610. We’re here to help.”

Christie Starbuck, Head of Customer Experience at Cambridge Water.

CCW’s research has shown 5 out of 6 customers who cannot afford their water bill are not getting the financial support they are entitled to.

Water is often overlooked when it comes to saving money but there are many ways to reduce your bill. These savings could help free up precious pounds to cover other rising costs, including energy, food and National Insurance contributions. 

CCW’s top three tips to save on water bills

More information 

Posted: 4 February 2022