Water

Did you know water companies have schemes and tariffs to help you in hard times? Contacting your water company is the best way to find out what's out there but Bill has made it easy for you to find out what support your water supplier has to offer. Don't worry, Bill has checked and all info is up-to-date as of October 2020.

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Water Supplier Schemes

Simply click on your water company in the list below and check what schemes and tariffs are available.

Affinity Water
LIFT (Low Income Fixed Tariff)

Affinity Water’s Low Income Fixed Tariff (LIFT) already benefits approximately 60,000 customers. It may be able to help you too, if your household income is less than £16,385, or you receive certain qualifying benefits. If eligible, you will receive a reduced fixed bill for the year that can be spread monthly.

Spread the Costs

If you are finding it difficult to pay your bill, Affinity Water may be able to help spread the costs with a payment plan to suit you.

Free Water Efficiency Services

Affinity Water offers free COVID-safe Home Water Efficiency Checks as part of its Water Saving Programme to help customers save water, money and energy.

During the check, the technician will; check for leaks and may repair small leaks, fit effective water saving devices; identify ways you can save water and energy to reduce your bill and provide water saving advice to fit into your lifestyle.

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Get Water Fit

You can order water-saving devices through Affinity. Get Water Fit offer free products tailored to your home to help save water, energy, carbon, and money.

Anglian Water
LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households)

Anglian Water’s LITE scheme can support you if you have low disposable income and are struggling to pay your water bill. They will assess your circumstances and you may be awarded a discount on your water bill. This tariff is for water meter customers but they can supply you with a water meter free of charge.

AquaCare Plus

If you have a meter and are struggling to pay, you may be eligible for the AquaCare Plus scheme. The charge would be slightly higher than the standard tariff but charges you less for the water you use. To be eligible, either you or anyone living in the household would need to receive certain benefits/tax credits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (except families in receipt of the family element only)
  • Pension Credit
ExtraCare

Anglian Water have a specially trained ExtraCare Support team who can help find a way forward for you. You just need to answer some questions about you and your situation, and based on your answers, they will see how they can help you. Help includes:

  • Discounted tariffs
  • Affordable payment plans
  • Breathing space (putting things on pace for a while to give you time to get help)
  • Water meter installation
  • Direct support through Anglian Water Assistance Fund and supporting you on their Priority Services Register
Bournemouth Water
FreshStart

The FreshStart fund is available to assist you if you’re new to debt or dealing with an extraordinary life event. This fund will help clear your debt and assist you with ongoing bills, giving you the time and financial assistance to adjust to these new circumstances – for example, if you’re left with debt following the death of a partner, unemployment, relationship breakdown or illness. This scheme is administered by Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau.

ReStart

If you have arrears on your water account but can afford your ongoing water bills, the ReStart scheme may help you clear the debt. Over 13 weeks, you can clear your water debt by paying ongoing charges only. Bournemouth Water will then write off a percentage of your arrears.

Phase 1 – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £1 of the debt
Phase 2 – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £1.50 of the debt
Phase 3 – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £2 of the debt
Phase 4+ – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £2.50 of the debt

These phases will continue until the debt has been cleared. You need to adhere your payment plan and contact Bournemouth Water immediately if you are struggling to keep to your plan

WaterCare

If you are on a very low income, the WaterCare tariff can offer you a reduction on your water charges. In order to be eligible, you would need to meet these conditions: You are on a meter or on assessed charges and;

You or someone in your house receives one of the following means tested benefits:

  • Housing benefit
  • Income support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit (guaranteed element)
  • Universal Credit (housing element or standard allowance element)
WaterCare+

An extension of the WaterCare scheme, this is aimed at customers most in need by helping them better manage their water use. The scheme offers a range of free measures:

  • Assessing whether a water meter would help reduce bills if not already metered.
  • Ensuring customers are receiving all possible existing financial support and benefits.
  • Moving on to more affordable payment plans tailored to the customers particular circumstances.
  • Free water saving devices.
Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Bristol Water
WaterSure Plus

WaterSure Plus offers assistance to low-income customers with high water use by putting a limit on the annual bill.
To qualify, you must have a water meter and be in receipt of one of the following social benefits or tax credits such
as:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseekers’ allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Housing benefit or universal credit

In addition you must either:

  • Receive child benefits for three or more children living in the household
  • Have someone in the house hold with a medical condition that causes them to use significantly more water
Payment Plans

Bristol Water offer flexible payment plans that allow you to pay less over an agreed period of time, and to catch up on your payments later

ReStart

Restart is a debt write-off scheme used for customers with significant water debt. It is designed to encourage better money management through an agreed payment plan:

  • Year 1: if the customer meets and pays the current year charges, an equivalent amount from their debt is written off.
  • Year 2: if the customer meets and pays the current year charges, their remaining debt is written off.

To apply for Restart customers need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget.

Assist

The Assist scheme offers a lower rate tariff based on your ability to pay. It is designed for low income householders in financial difficulty, and offers discounts of up to 88% of the average household bill

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Pension Credit Tariff

Bristol Water can offer a discount on your bill of around 20%.

Cambridge Water
Personal Payment Plans

If you’re having trouble paying your bill, it is important that you contact Cambridge Water as soon as possible. They may be able to help by offering you an affordable payment plan that is tailored to you.

Assure

The Assure Tariff can help you if you are on a low income or struggling to pay water charges; it aims to make your bills more affordable through discounted charges. You may be eligible if your household income is less than £16,380 – this figure does exclude income received from certain benefits, please check their website for full details.

You can also be eligible if you are in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Element, potentially getting a discount of 60% on the water charge in the first year and 40% in the second year.

Charitable Trust

If you are having significant money problems, you may be able to apply to the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust for help towards the cost of your water bill.

The Trust is a registered charity that operates independently of Cambridge Water and aims to help customers who are in need, or who are suffering hardship or other distress.

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

New COVID measures

Cambridge Water Company have introduced the Assure COVID-19 Tariff, created for anyone whose household income has temporarily become less than £16,380 per year as a result of COVID-19. The Assure COVID-19 tariff is a 60% discount on water charges for a three month period and you would need to provide additional proof of how COVID-19 has affected your income. You are also eligible if you are on Pension Credit.

They also provide payment breaks for anyone who is temporarily unable to make their payments of between 1 and 3 months.

Dŵr Cymru
Bill Assistance

To make it easier for you to apply for the Bill Assistance schemes listed below, Welsh Water has partnered with several Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Money Advice Agencies (including Step Change, Citizens Advice Bureau and Shelter Cymru). They have trained staff who provide FREE, independent money advice and will help you obtain the most from their tariffs through a simple application process.

HelpU

This is a tariff that helps you if you have a very low income. If you qualify, your water bill will be capped so you won’t pay over a certain amount for the year, and if you use less water than the cap amount, you will only be billed for the amount of water you have used. The same is true if you have a water meter, you will never pay more than the amount you have used.

If you apply through Welsh Water directly, be aware that they do check your credit score which can leave a footprint. If you don’t wish a credit score check, you can make an appointment with your local Citizens Advice or Moneyline Cymru.
To qualify for the tariff:

  • The water supply to the household must be for domestic use only
  • Someone in the household must receive at least one means-tested benefit
  • The combined annual household income must be on or under a specific threshold
WaterSure Wales

If you are on a meter, the WaterSure scheme puts a cap on the amount you have to pay for your water, no matter what your actual consumption is. In order to be eligible, you must receive a qualifying benefit and either:

  • Have 3 or more children under the age of 19 living at your home who you can claim Child Benefit for, or
  • Have a member of your household with a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
Customer Assistance Fund

The Customer Assistance Fund is designed to help you if you’re in severe financial hardship and with over £150 of arrears. It helps you to clear debt and get on top of your payments. You may be eligible if:

  • Your water account is for a domestic property where you currently live.
  • You owe more than £150.
  • You have a very low credit score with the credit agencies.

Most applications onto the fund can be confirmed over the phone with Welsh Water, or alternatively through non-charging money advice agencies such as Step Change, Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter Cymru.

Customers assisted by the fraud fund can have their water debt paid off if they maintain payment of ongoing charges. The debt is paid off in half yearly chunks and customers can become debt free within 12 months.

Essex and Suffolk Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

SupportPlus - Reduced Tariff

You can reduce your bill by up to 50% with Essex and Suffolk Water tariffs. These would be suitable for you if:

  • Your total household income is less than £16,105, and your annual water bill is more than 3% of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments)
  • A member of your household receives Pension Credit, and your annual water bill is 3% or more of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments), or
  • Your income is not enough to cover your essential bills – in this case, you’ll need a financial assessment from an independent debt advice organisation, such as StepChange Debt Charity, along with your application.

Your total household income includes your benefits, such as universal credit and housing benefit, but does not include disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments Attendance Allowance and other disability payments.

SupportPlus - Arrears Support

If you are in arrears with your water bill, Essex and Suffolk Water offer an arrears support scheme to write off your water debt over a 2 year period. This is a once only opportunity and you must maintain ongoing payments of your current charges to receive this support.

To apply you would need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget. If your circumstances show that you are unable to pay the debt within a three year period they will qualify.

As long as you maintain payment of your current charges, support payments will be given by Essex and Suffolk Water during the two years giving you the chance to become water arrears free. The arrears support scheme does exclude debt which has been the subject of enforcement action.

Hafren Dyfrdwy
Here2Help

You could receive between 10% and 90% off your average Hafren Dyfrdwy water bill through this scheme. It is open to every customer, regardless of age, employment status or whether you receive benefits. You also don’t need to be behind on your bills. Eligibility is based on an assessment of your income and expenditure so you will need to provide information on the application including:

  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Direct debit and standing order schedules
  • Household bills
Flexible Payment Plans

If you are unsuccessful with your Here2Help application and are in arrears, Hafren Dyfrdwy may be able to help you reduce or write off your debt through a payment matching scheme. Please contact the company directly to find out more.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Hartlepool Water
Assistance Fund

As Hartlepool Water is part of the Anglian Water group, it has access to the Anglian Water Assistance Fund. It offers help to clear your water and sewerage debt through a provisional award sum and then a following payment plan. In other words, in order to receive the award you would need to keep up with a payment plan for current bills for an agreed period after you have been given a provisional award.

If achieved, the award will be credited to your account and go toward clearing the debt. If you are claiming certain benefits, your application will also automatically be checked for eligibility for other schemes too to make sure you’re getting access to all the available help.

LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households)

Anglian Water’s LITE scheme can support you if you have low disposible income and are struggling to pay your water bill. They will assess your circumstances and you may be awarded a discount on your water bill. This tariff is for water meter customers but they can supply you with a water meter free of charge.

AquaCare Plus

If you have a meter and are struggling to pay, you may be eligible for the AquaCare Plus scheme. The charge would be slightly higher than the standard tariff but charges you less for the water you use. To be eligible, either you or anyone living in the household would need to receive certain benefits/tax credits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (except families in receipt of the family element only)
  • Pension Credit
ExtraCare

Anglian Water have a specially trained ExtraCare Support team who can help find a way forward for you. You just need to answer some questions about you and your situation, and based on your answers, they will see how they can help you. Help includes:

  • Discounted tariffs
  • Affordable payment plans
  • Breathing space (putting things on pace for a while to give you time to get help)
  • Water meter installation
  • Direct support through Anglian Water Assistance Fund and supporting you on their Priority Services Register
Priority Services

You can apply to the Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help. Eligibility is related to age, ill health or disability, including blindness, deafness and chronic illnesses, as well as families with young children or those with caring responsibilities.

Some of the ways they can help:

  • you’ll get an early warning if they need to turn off your water supply
  • they will give you bottled water and extra support while they are fixing your supply
  • they can provide your bill in an alternative format such as large print or braille
  • you can nominate a friend or relative to help manage your account
  • if English isn’t your first language, they can provide a translator when you call
  • if you communicate using British Sign Language, they offer a BSL translation service
  • if you have limited mobility, they can provide support reading your meter
Northumbrian Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

SupportPlus - Reduced Tariff

You can reduce your bill by up to 50% with Northumbrian Water tariffs. These would be suitable for you if:

  • Your total household income is less than £16,105, and your annual water bill is more than 3% of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments)
  • A member of your household receives Pension Credit, and your annual water bill is 3% or more of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments), or
  • Your income is not enough to cover your essential bills – in this case, you’ll need a financial assessment from an independent debt advice organisation, such as StepChange Debt Charity, along with your application.

Your total household income includes your benefits, such as universal credit and housing benefit, but does not include disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments Attendance Allowance and other disability payments.

SupportPlus - Arrears Support

If you are in arrears with your water bill, Northumbrian Water offer an arrears support scheme to write off your water debt over a 2 year period. This is a ‘once only’ opportunity and you must maintain ongoing payments of your current charges to receive this support.

To apply you would need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget. If your circumstances show that you are unable to pay the debt within a three year period they will qualify. As long as you maintain payment of your current charges, support payments will be given by Northumbrian Water during the two years giving you the chance to become water arrears free. The arrears support scheme does exclude debt which has been the subject of enforcement action.

Portsmouth Water
Helping Hand Tariff

If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, you could be put on the Helping Hand Tariff. If your application is successful, your water bill will be capped at their minimum charge for the year.

Arrears Assist

If you have arrears of more than £300 and have not paid for some time, you may be able to benefit from this scheme. Portsmouth Water match any payments you make to reduce the outstanding debt.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

COVID-19 Payment Holiday Requests

If you are in difficulty with paying water bills as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Portsmouth Water are offering three-month payment holidays. You can go onto their website and fill in the form and the payment holiday will be applied.

Scottish Water
Houses without a water meter (Unmetred charge)

If your home doesn’t have a water meter, your water and waste water service charges will be based on the Council Tax Band for your home. These charges apply to every household, which has a connection to the public water supply, the public waste water network, or both.

Your water and waste water charges will be shown on your Council Tax bill, even if you receive Council Tax Reduction. Some Council Tax exemptions and discounts will also apply to these charges, such as single occupancy or if you are a student.

Important: If you receive Council Tax Reduction you must still pay a water and waste water charge for the services that you have at your home. However you will receive a reduction of up to 25% on the water and waste water charges for your property.

If your property has been altered to meet the needs of a disabled person, you may be entitled to a Disabled Banding Reduction on the charges you pay for your property. Your local Council bills and collects these charges on behalf of Scottish Water, and you can find details of how to pay on your Council Tax bill. Please contact your local Council for more information and help with payment options.

Houses with a water meter

Householders may opt, at their own cost, to have a water meter installed and their charges are based on the size of the water meter and the volume of water recorded on the water meter serving the property.

Scottish Water will invoice and collect water and waste water charges direct from homeowners whose homes have a water meter. For properties with water meters invoices will be sent direct on a quarterly basis. You can arrange a Scottish Water Payment Plan based on your average annual invoice. This will set up agreed installments to be paid on specific dates every quarter.

SES Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Breathing Space

If you are struggling to pay your bill due to a change in personal circumstances or because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to pause your payments

Water Support Scheme

If your yearly gross household income is:

  • Less than £16,105 before any deductions, if you do not live in a London borough; or
  • Less than £19,565 before any deductions, if you do live in a London borough

You could be eligible for a 50% bill reduction, funded through adding £6 to other customers’ annual bills

Severn Trent
Charitable Trust

If you are unable to pay your water charges, you may be eligible for a grant from the Severn Trent Trust Fund. All applications are considered on an individual basis. They can provide help with: water and sewerage charges if you are in hardship and other essential bills, household needs or priority debts.

The Big Difference Scheme

The Big Difference Scheme is a social tariff funded by Severn Trent Water, which can offer you significantly reduced water rates if you have a low monthly disposable income. The scheme is open to every Severn Trent customer, regardless of your age, employment status, or whether you receive benefits or not.

If you are on a limited income, they may be able to assist you with a reduction on current charges. The Big Difference Scheme is run in partnership with the Severn Trent Trust Fund and Citizens Advice Coventry.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

STW Matching Plus

If you are in arrears and your Trust Fund application is unsuccessful, Severn Trent may be able to help you reduce your debt through a payment matching scheme – they agree an amount for you to pay and then match this amount each month.

Water Efficiency

Severn Trent have lots of advice and free products helping with water efficiency, serving to reduce your water usage and therefore your bills

South East Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Social Tariff

If you have a household income of less than the HMRC’s low income threshold, currently £16,385 or are on certain benefits, you qualify for their social tariff. This will cap your water charges to a fixed amount, on average saving about 30% on your annual water charges. Please note that the household income of £16,385 per year or less must include all types of income except the following:

  • Child tax credit and/or child benefit
  • Disability living allowance / Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Housing benefit and council tax reduction
  • Mortgage interest relief
Helping Hand

It is funded by donations from South East Water and offers financial assistance to clear water and sewerage debt. If successful with your application, a provisional award is made, dependent on the completion of a payment plan for your on-going bill. This must be paid for 6 months without defaulting.

Short-term Payment Support

If you are struggling to keep up with your water bills, South East Water offer a number of payment options and support for you including:

  • Setting affordable payment amounts
  • Weekly or fortnightly payment arrangements through convenient methods
  • Whether paying by a water meter could reduce charges
  • Offering payment holidays or breaks to help you through shorter term difficulties
South Staffs Water
Personal Payment Plans

South Staffs Water understands that finding the money to pay your bill can sometimes be difficult. If you’re having trouble paying your bill, there are many ways South Staffs Water can help, including payment plans. It is important that you contact them as soon as possible if you are finding it difficult to pay your water bill.

Assure

If you are on a low income or struggling to pay water charges, the Assure tariff may be able to help; it aims to make your bills more affordable through discounted charges. You may be eligible if your household income is less than £16,380 – this figure does exclude income received from certain benefits, please check their website for full details.

You can also be eligible if you are in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Element, potentially getting a discount of 60% on the water charge in the first year and 40% in the second year.

Charitable Trust

If you are having significant money problems, you may be able to apply to the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust for help towards the cost of your water bill.

The Trust is a registered charity that operates independently of South Staffs Water and aims to assist those customers who are in need or who are suffering hardship or other distress.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

New COVID measures

In response to the pandemic, South Staffs Water have introduced the Assure COVID-19 Tariff, created for anyone whose household income has temporarily become less than £16,380 per year as a result of COVID-19. The Assure COVID-19 tariff is a 60% discount on water charges for a three month period,  and you would need to provide additional proof of how COVID-19 has affected your income. You are also eligible if you are on Pension Credit.

They also provide payment breaks for anyone who is temporarily unable to make their payments of between 1 and 3 months.

South West Water
WaterCare Tariff

The WaterCare tariff may be able to help you if you

  • Have a water meter (or can have one fitted)
  • Are in receipt of one or more of the specified means tested benefits detailed on the website. This can be you or someone else in the household.

Assessments are based on the household’s weekly ‘equivalised’ income after housing costs are deducted. The tariff is made up of three bands offering a percentage reduction off the standard meter charges. If you are eligible, you will be placed on the most appropriate WaterCare tariff band to your circumstances.

ReStart

ReStart is a debt write-off scheme designed to help if you have a significant amount of debt on your water account. It is designed to encourage better money management through an agreed payment plan:

  • Year 1: if you meet and pay the current year charges, an equivalent amount from their debt is written off.
  • Year 2: if the customer meets and pays the current year charges, their remaining debt is written off.

To apply for the ReStart scheme customers need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget.

FreshStart

The FreshStart fund is available to assist you if you’re new to debt or dealing with an extraordinary life event. This fund will help clear your debt and assist you with ongoing bills, giving you the time and financial assistance to adjust to these new circumstances – for example, if you’re left with debt following the death of a partner, unemployment, relationship breakdown or illness.

South West Water fund this scheme, which is administered by Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau.

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

WaterCare+

WaterCare+ is a scheme to help you if you’re struggling to pay your bill by:

  • Checking you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to
  • Making sure you’re on the right tariff for the lowest possible water bill
  • Carrying out a home water and energy audit and suggesting simple ways to reduce your water and energy use
  • Fixing dripping taps or leaking cisterns and installing simple water-saving devices
Southern Water
Essentials Tariff

This tariff is designed to help if you are struggling to pay your water services charges. It provides a least a 20% discount on future bills. You will qualify for the Essentials tariff if you are a Southern Water customer and:

  • Your household income is less than £21,000 (excluding Disability Living Allowance or Personal Indpendence Payments) – this is a temporary increase in threshold until March 2021, or
  • Someone in your household receives pension credits.
NewStart

If you have arrears on your Southern Water account and haven’t made a payment in a while, you may be eligible for the NewStart scheme. Southern Water will arrange to match your payments as part of an agreed plan to help clear your debt

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Free Water-Saving Services

If you’re both a water and waste customer and have a water meter, you can apply for a free home visit. On this visit, free watersaving products will be fitted; for example, toilet dual-flush converters, tap aerators and showerheads. The engineers will also discuss your water usage with you and offer advice about how to save water, money and energy.

Thames Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Customer Assistance Fund

If you are struggling financially and have water debt of £120 or more from a previous billing year (prior to April), the Customer Assistance Fund may be able to help.

If you are billed by Thames Water, can pay your current bills and make some contribution towards your debt each month, you may qualify for Thames Water’s Payment Matching Scheme. For every £1 you pay towards your debt, Thames Water will match those payments. And, if you stay on the scheme for two years, they will clear any outstanding water debt at that time.

The fund is administered independently by Auriga Services who will assess eligibility for assistance and work with you to agree payment levels. Auriga will also sign you up to any special water tariffs that may reduce your current bills and help with other debt guidance.

Thames Water Trust Fund

The Thames Water Trust Fund is an independent, registered charity whose aim is to help our customers who may be facing very difficult circumstances and can’t afford to buy essential items such as a washing machine or bed.

The Trustees work closely with our Customer Assistance Fund applicants to see if they can get additional financial support from the Trust. It also gives grants to organisations who provide debt and money advice. These grants enable the organisations to employ a specialist advisor to help if you need support resolving any financial hardship.

Please note that applications for the Trust Fund must come as a referral from a Thames-funded organisation or the Thames Extra Care Team

WaterHelp

The WaterHelp scheme is available if you are in low-income household. To be eligible, your annual gross household income (less any disability related payments) needs to be less than £16,385. This is increased to £19,747 for those in London boroughs (including outer London boroughs). If you qualify, you’ll receive 50% off your water bill.

Flexible Payments

If you need support during the coronavirus pandemic, Thames Water may be able to temporarily reduce or postpone your water bill payments for three months, as part of their Flexible Payment Scheme. After this time, any charges that were reduced or paused will be spread across your following payments over the next 9 months, so please bear in mind that this scheme provides temporary relief.

They will be able to support you with this scheme if:

  • You need to stop work without pay, to either self-isolate or take care of children or a vulnerable family member.
  • You’ve been made redundant, or told to take unpaid leave or reduced pay (less than 80% of your normal pay) for a period of time.
  • You were up to date with your payments up to 31 March 2020 or had missed payments totalling no more than £50.
Water and Energy Saving Devices

If you’re a Thames Water customer, they have an online calculator to show you how much water you could save.  Once completed, you’ll get the opportunity to request water and energy saving gadgets such as tap inserts and save a flush devices.

United Utilities
United Utilities Trust Fund

If you are facing hardship and experiencing difficulties in meeting your water/sewerage charges, the United Utilities Trust Fund may be able to help. Managed and administered by Auriga Services, the Trust Fund can give grants to help with water charges and, in certain cases, other essential costs. They can also refer you to any other United Utilities scheme for further help.

Back on Track

If you are on certain benefits, are in arrears with your previous years’ water charges or have a reduced income due to COVID-19, you could be eligible for the Back on Track scheme. Depending on your individual circumstances, you can receive a reduced water charge for the year.

Please note that to apply for the scheme, you will need to provide income and expenditure so that they can assess how much you can afford to pay, as well as evidence if COVID-19 has affected your income.

Help to Pay

If you are receiving Pension Credits and are struggling to pay your water bill, the Help to Pay scheme may help you. This will cap your annual water charges to a set amount.

Payment Matching Plus

If you have built up a lot of debt and are finding it difficult to pay, the United Utilities Payment Matching scheme will help. For every £1 you pay, the company pays £1 too, with their contribution increasing to £2 if the customer continues to make payments until the debt is cleared.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Payment Break

If you are struggling to pay for your water bill due to an unforeseen circumstance like job loss, illness, injury bereavement or emergency, you may be eligible for the Payment Break scheme for short-term relief. The scheme works to delay your water bill payments for a set period of time. Then, when you’re ready to start paying again, they will spread your delayed payments over a longer period.

Wessex Water
Pension Credit Discount

If you receive Pension credit, you could be entitled to a discount of around £60 off your water and/or sewerage bill. You can apply if Wessex Water provide you with water and/or sewerage services and all the adults in your household receive Pension Credit or the state pension is your (and their) only income.

WaterSurePlus

WaterSure Plus can help you if you are on a low income and you have a water meter. It will put a limit on your charges for water and sewerage services. The scheme is for anyone who has a water meter and lives in a low income household with unavoidably high water use. You must also receive a means-tested benefit or tax credit, as well as either:

  • Child benefit for three or more children living at home under the age of 19; or
  • Have higher than average water usage in your household due to a medical condition.
Assist

The Assist tariff aims to help if you are in extreme financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay your water bill. If eligible, you would pay a lower bill than normal which is assessed on your individual situation. You will most likely be asked to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget before applying.

Wessex Water have also expanded the Assist tariff to include those struggling to pay due to a loss of income directly as a result of COVID-19. If you are able to get back on track reasonably quickly, they will remove the need to complete a financial budget or seek independent advice. They would just need to know why you need help, and how much you can afford.

If successful, your bill will be lowered for six months, giving you some breathing space and helping you avoid slipping into unnecessary debt. The standard Assist process/rules remain for those in debt or arrears due to COVID and those who were already struggling prior to March 2020.

ReStart

If you are in significant water debt and can’t repay but can afford your ongoing water bills, you may be eligible to apply for the Restart scheme. You would pay the water charges for the current year, and at the end of the year, Wessex Water will reduce your debt by an equivalent amount. If you keep up these charges for a second year, they will clear your remaining debt and you will be back on track.

They do ask that you get free independent advice before applying for the Restart scheme.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Flexible Payment Plans

If you are having short term problems paying, Wessex Water can offer you a flexible payment plan.

You can pay less than you need towards your water bill for an agreed period of time and catch up on payments later.

COVID-19 Help

Wessex Water are offering support if you are worried about being able to pay your water bill due to the pandemic. If you have a loss of income directly due to Covid-19, please answer the questions on their online form, to see how they can support you.

Yorkshire Water
WaterSupport

If your household has a low income and your annual water bill is more than £430, the WaterSupport scheme may be able to help. The scheme will cap your water bill at a set reduced amount.

Yorkshire Water Community Trust

If you are in a multiple debt situation and not received any financial help from the trust in the last two years, you can apply to the Yorkshire Water Community Trust. They can make financial awards to help clear water and sewerage arrears up to a maximum of £750. To apply, you need to provide them with information about your income, outgoings and details of at least one priority debt.

Resolve

If you have over 12 months arrears for water charges, have a low income, and are struggling with repayment, you can apply for the Resolve scheme. The aim is for you to be debt-free so you can continue with your ongoing charges at an affordable amount. They will agree regular payments with you for a minimum of 12 months and will make contributions towards your arrears every 3 months to help ease your debt.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Affinity Water
LIFT (Low Income Fixed Tariff)

Affinity Water’s Low Income Fixed Tariff (LIFT) already benefits approximately 60,000 customers. It may be able to help you too, if your household income is less than £16,385, or you receive certain qualifying benefits. If eligible, you will receive a reduced fixed bill for the year that can be spread monthly.

Spread the Costs

If you are finding it difficult to pay your bill, Affinity Water may be able to help spread the costs with a payment plan to suit you.

Free Water Efficiency Services

Affinity Water offers free COVID-safe Home Water Efficiency Checks as part of its Water Saving Programme to help customers save water, money and energy.

During the check, the technician will; check for leaks and may repair small leaks, fit effective water saving devices; identify ways you can save water and energy to reduce your bill and provide water saving advice to fit into your lifestyle.

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Get Water Fit

You can order water-saving devices through Affinity. Get Water Fit offer free products tailored to your home to help save water, energy, carbon, and money.

Anglian Water
LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households)

Anglian Water’s LITE scheme can support you if you have low disposable income and are struggling to pay your water bill. They will assess your circumstances and you may be awarded a discount on your water bill. This tariff is for water meter customers but they can supply you with a water meter free of charge.

AquaCare Plus

If you have a meter and are struggling to pay, you may be eligible for the AquaCare Plus scheme. The charge would be slightly higher than the standard tariff but charges you less for the water you use. To be eligible, either you or anyone living in the household would need to receive certain benefits/tax credits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (except families in receipt of the family element only)
  • Pension Credit
ExtraCare

Anglian Water have a specially trained ExtraCare Support team who can help find a way forward for you. You just need to answer some questions about you and your situation, and based on your answers, they will see how they can help you. Help includes:

  • Discounted tariffs
  • Affordable payment plans
  • Breathing space (putting things on pace for a while to give you time to get help)
  • Water meter installation
  • Direct support through Anglian Water Assistance Fund and supporting you on their Priority Services Register
Bournemouth Water
FreshStart

The FreshStart fund is available to assist you if you’re new to debt or dealing with an extraordinary life event. This fund will help clear your debt and assist you with ongoing bills, giving you the time and financial assistance to adjust to these new circumstances – for example, if you’re left with debt following the death of a partner, unemployment, relationship breakdown or illness. This scheme is administered by Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau.

ReStart

If you have arrears on your water account but can afford your ongoing water bills, the ReStart scheme may help you clear the debt. Over 13 weeks, you can clear your water debt by paying ongoing charges only. Bournemouth Water will then write off a percentage of your arrears.

Phase 1 – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £1 of the debt
Phase 2 – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £1.50 of the debt
Phase 3 – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £2 of the debt
Phase 4+ – For every £1 you pay, they will write off £2.50 of the debt

These phases will continue until the debt has been cleared. You need to adhere your payment plan and contact Bournemouth Water immediately if you are struggling to keep to your plan

WaterCare

If you are on a very low income, the WaterCare tariff can offer you a reduction on your water charges. In order to be eligible, you would need to meet these conditions: You are on a meter or on assessed charges and;

You or someone in your house receives one of the following means tested benefits:

  • Housing benefit
  • Income support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit (guaranteed element)
  • Universal Credit (housing element or standard allowance element)
WaterCare+

An extension of the WaterCare scheme, this is aimed at customers most in need by helping them better manage their water use. The scheme offers a range of free measures:

  • Assessing whether a water meter would help reduce bills if not already metered.
  • Ensuring customers are receiving all possible existing financial support and benefits.
  • Moving on to more affordable payment plans tailored to the customers particular circumstances.
  • Free water saving devices.
Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Bristol Water
WaterSure Plus

WaterSure Plus offers assistance to low-income customers with high water use by putting a limit on the annual bill.
To qualify, you must have a water meter and be in receipt of one of the following social benefits or tax credits such
as:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseekers’ allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Housing benefit or universal credit

In addition you must either:

  • Receive child benefits for three or more children living in the household
  • Have someone in the house hold with a medical condition that causes them to use significantly more water
Payment Plans

Bristol Water offer flexible payment plans that allow you to pay less over an agreed period of time, and to catch up on your payments later

ReStart

Restart is a debt write-off scheme used for customers with significant water debt. It is designed to encourage better money management through an agreed payment plan:

  • Year 1: if the customer meets and pays the current year charges, an equivalent amount from their debt is written off.
  • Year 2: if the customer meets and pays the current year charges, their remaining debt is written off.

To apply for Restart customers need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget.

Assist

The Assist scheme offers a lower rate tariff based on your ability to pay. It is designed for low income householders in financial difficulty, and offers discounts of up to 88% of the average household bill

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Pension Credit Tariff

Bristol Water can offer a discount on your bill of around 20%.

Cambridge Water
Personal Payment Plans

If you’re having trouble paying your bill, it is important that you contact Cambridge Water as soon as possible. They may be able to help by offering you an affordable payment plan that is tailored to you.

Assure

The Assure Tariff can help you if you are on a low income or struggling to pay water charges; it aims to make your bills more affordable through discounted charges. You may be eligible if your household income is less than £16,380 – this figure does exclude income received from certain benefits, please check their website for full details.

You can also be eligible if you are in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Element, potentially getting a discount of 60% on the water charge in the first year and 40% in the second year.

Charitable Trust

If you are having significant money problems, you may be able to apply to the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust for help towards the cost of your water bill.

The Trust is a registered charity that operates independently of Cambridge Water and aims to help customers who are in need, or who are suffering hardship or other distress.

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

New COVID measures

Cambridge Water Company have introduced the Assure COVID-19 Tariff, created for anyone whose household income has temporarily become less than £16,380 per year as a result of COVID-19. The Assure COVID-19 tariff is a 60% discount on water charges for a three month period and you would need to provide additional proof of how COVID-19 has affected your income. You are also eligible if you are on Pension Credit.

They also provide payment breaks for anyone who is temporarily unable to make their payments of between 1 and 3 months.

Dŵr Cymru
Bill Assistance

To make it easier for you to apply for the Bill Assistance schemes listed below, Welsh Water has partnered with several Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Money Advice Agencies (including Step Change, Citizens Advice Bureau and Shelter Cymru). They have trained staff who provide FREE, independent money advice and will help you obtain the most from their tariffs through a simple application process.

HelpU

This is a tariff that helps you if you have a very low income. If you qualify, your water bill will be capped so you won’t pay over a certain amount for the year, and if you use less water than the cap amount, you will only be billed for the amount of water you have used. The same is true if you have a water meter, you will never pay more than the amount you have used.

If you apply through Welsh Water directly, be aware that they do check your credit score which can leave a footprint. If you don’t wish a credit score check, you can make an appointment with your local Citizens Advice or Moneyline Cymru.
To qualify for the tariff:

  • The water supply to the household must be for domestic use only
  • Someone in the household must receive at least one means-tested benefit
  • The combined annual household income must be on or under a specific threshold
WaterSure Wales

If you are on a meter, the WaterSure scheme puts a cap on the amount you have to pay for your water, no matter what your actual consumption is. In order to be eligible, you must receive a qualifying benefit and either:

  • Have 3 or more children under the age of 19 living at your home who you can claim Child Benefit for, or
  • Have a member of your household with a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
Customer Assistance Fund

The Customer Assistance Fund is designed to help you if you’re in severe financial hardship and with over £150 of arrears. It helps you to clear debt and get on top of your payments. You may be eligible if:

  • Your water account is for a domestic property where you currently live.
  • You owe more than £150.
  • You have a very low credit score with the credit agencies.

Most applications onto the fund can be confirmed over the phone with Welsh Water, or alternatively through non-charging money advice agencies such as Step Change, Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter Cymru.

Customers assisted by the fraud fund can have their water debt paid off if they maintain payment of ongoing charges. The debt is paid off in half yearly chunks and customers can become debt free within 12 months.

Essex and Suffolk Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

SupportPlus - Reduced Tariff

You can reduce your bill by up to 50% with Essex and Suffolk Water tariffs. These would be suitable for you if:

  • Your total household income is less than £16,105, and your annual water bill is more than 3% of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments)
  • A member of your household receives Pension Credit, and your annual water bill is 3% or more of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments), or
  • Your income is not enough to cover your essential bills – in this case, you’ll need a financial assessment from an independent debt advice organisation, such as StepChange Debt Charity, along with your application.

Your total household income includes your benefits, such as universal credit and housing benefit, but does not include disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments Attendance Allowance and other disability payments.

SupportPlus - Arrears Support

If you are in arrears with your water bill, Essex and Suffolk Water offer an arrears support scheme to write off your water debt over a 2 year period. This is a once only opportunity and you must maintain ongoing payments of your current charges to receive this support.

To apply you would need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget. If your circumstances show that you are unable to pay the debt within a three year period they will qualify.

As long as you maintain payment of your current charges, support payments will be given by Essex and Suffolk Water during the two years giving you the chance to become water arrears free. The arrears support scheme does exclude debt which has been the subject of enforcement action.

Hafren Dyfrdwy
Here2Help

You could receive between 10% and 90% off your average Hafren Dyfrdwy water bill through this scheme. It is open to every customer, regardless of age, employment status or whether you receive benefits. You also don’t need to be behind on your bills. Eligibility is based on an assessment of your income and expenditure so you will need to provide information on the application including:

  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Direct debit and standing order schedules
  • Household bills
Flexible Payment Plans

If you are unsuccessful with your Here2Help application and are in arrears, Hafren Dyfrdwy may be able to help you reduce or write off your debt through a payment matching scheme. Please contact the company directly to find out more.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Hartlepool Water
Assistance Fund

As Hartlepool Water is part of the Anglian Water group, it has access to the Anglian Water Assistance Fund. It offers help to clear your water and sewerage debt through a provisional award sum and then a following payment plan. In other words, in order to receive the award you would need to keep up with a payment plan for current bills for an agreed period after you have been given a provisional award.

If achieved, the award will be credited to your account and go toward clearing the debt. If you are claiming certain benefits, your application will also automatically be checked for eligibility for other schemes too to make sure you’re getting access to all the available help.

LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households)

Anglian Water’s LITE scheme can support you if you have low disposible income and are struggling to pay your water bill. They will assess your circumstances and you may be awarded a discount on your water bill. This tariff is for water meter customers but they can supply you with a water meter free of charge.

AquaCare Plus

If you have a meter and are struggling to pay, you may be eligible for the AquaCare Plus scheme. The charge would be slightly higher than the standard tariff but charges you less for the water you use. To be eligible, either you or anyone living in the household would need to receive certain benefits/tax credits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (except families in receipt of the family element only)
  • Pension Credit
ExtraCare

Anglian Water have a specially trained ExtraCare Support team who can help find a way forward for you. You just need to answer some questions about you and your situation, and based on your answers, they will see how they can help you. Help includes:

  • Discounted tariffs
  • Affordable payment plans
  • Breathing space (putting things on pace for a while to give you time to get help)
  • Water meter installation
  • Direct support through Anglian Water Assistance Fund and supporting you on their Priority Services Register
Priority Services

You can apply to the Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help. Eligibility is related to age, ill health or disability, including blindness, deafness and chronic illnesses, as well as families with young children or those with caring responsibilities.

Some of the ways they can help:

  • you’ll get an early warning if they need to turn off your water supply
  • they will give you bottled water and extra support while they are fixing your supply
  • they can provide your bill in an alternative format such as large print or braille
  • you can nominate a friend or relative to help manage your account
  • if English isn’t your first language, they can provide a translator when you call
  • if you communicate using British Sign Language, they offer a BSL translation service
  • if you have limited mobility, they can provide support reading your meter
Northumbrian Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

SupportPlus - Reduced Tariff

You can reduce your bill by up to 50% with Northumbrian Water tariffs. These would be suitable for you if:

  • Your total household income is less than £16,105, and your annual water bill is more than 3% of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments)
  • A member of your household receives Pension Credit, and your annual water bill is 3% or more of your net household income (after housing costs, rent or mortgage payments), or
  • Your income is not enough to cover your essential bills – in this case, you’ll need a financial assessment from an independent debt advice organisation, such as StepChange Debt Charity, along with your application.

Your total household income includes your benefits, such as universal credit and housing benefit, but does not include disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments Attendance Allowance and other disability payments.

SupportPlus - Arrears Support

If you are in arrears with your water bill, Northumbrian Water offer an arrears support scheme to write off your water debt over a 2 year period. This is a ‘once only’ opportunity and you must maintain ongoing payments of your current charges to receive this support.

To apply you would need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget. If your circumstances show that you are unable to pay the debt within a three year period they will qualify. As long as you maintain payment of your current charges, support payments will be given by Northumbrian Water during the two years giving you the chance to become water arrears free. The arrears support scheme does exclude debt which has been the subject of enforcement action.

Portsmouth Water
Helping Hand Tariff

If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, you could be put on the Helping Hand Tariff. If your application is successful, your water bill will be capped at their minimum charge for the year.

Arrears Assist

If you have arrears of more than £300 and have not paid for some time, you may be able to benefit from this scheme. Portsmouth Water match any payments you make to reduce the outstanding debt.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

COVID-19 Payment Holiday Requests

If you are in difficulty with paying water bills as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Portsmouth Water are offering three-month payment holidays. You can go onto their website and fill in the form and the payment holiday will be applied.

Scottish Water
Houses without a water meter (Unmetred charge)

If your home doesn’t have a water meter, your water and waste water service charges will be based on the Council Tax Band for your home. These charges apply to every household, which has a connection to the public water supply, the public waste water network, or both.

Your water and waste water charges will be shown on your Council Tax bill, even if you receive Council Tax Reduction. Some Council Tax exemptions and discounts will also apply to these charges, such as single occupancy or if you are a student.

Important: If you receive Council Tax Reduction you must still pay a water and waste water charge for the services that you have at your home. However you will receive a reduction of up to 25% on the water and waste water charges for your property.

If your property has been altered to meet the needs of a disabled person, you may be entitled to a Disabled Banding Reduction on the charges you pay for your property. Your local Council bills and collects these charges on behalf of Scottish Water, and you can find details of how to pay on your Council Tax bill. Please contact your local Council for more information and help with payment options.

Houses with a water meter

Householders may opt, at their own cost, to have a water meter installed and their charges are based on the size of the water meter and the volume of water recorded on the water meter serving the property.

Scottish Water will invoice and collect water and waste water charges direct from homeowners whose homes have a water meter. For properties with water meters invoices will be sent direct on a quarterly basis. You can arrange a Scottish Water Payment Plan based on your average annual invoice. This will set up agreed installments to be paid on specific dates every quarter.

SES Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Breathing Space

If you are struggling to pay your bill due to a change in personal circumstances or because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to pause your payments

Water Support Scheme

If your yearly gross household income is:

  • Less than £16,105 before any deductions, if you do not live in a London borough; or
  • Less than £19,565 before any deductions, if you do live in a London borough

You could be eligible for a 50% bill reduction, funded through adding £6 to other customers’ annual bills

Severn Trent
Charitable Trust

If you are unable to pay your water charges, you may be eligible for a grant from the Severn Trent Trust Fund. All applications are considered on an individual basis. They can provide help with: water and sewerage charges if you are in hardship and other essential bills, household needs or priority debts.

The Big Difference Scheme

The Big Difference Scheme is a social tariff funded by Severn Trent Water, which can offer you significantly reduced water rates if you have a low monthly disposable income. The scheme is open to every Severn Trent customer, regardless of your age, employment status, or whether you receive benefits or not.

If you are on a limited income, they may be able to assist you with a reduction on current charges. The Big Difference Scheme is run in partnership with the Severn Trent Trust Fund and Citizens Advice Coventry.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

STW Matching Plus

If you are in arrears and your Trust Fund application is unsuccessful, Severn Trent may be able to help you reduce your debt through a payment matching scheme – they agree an amount for you to pay and then match this amount each month.

Water Efficiency

Severn Trent have lots of advice and free products helping with water efficiency, serving to reduce your water usage and therefore your bills

South East Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Social Tariff

If you have a household income of less than the HMRC’s low income threshold, currently £16,385 or are on certain benefits, you qualify for their social tariff. This will cap your water charges to a fixed amount, on average saving about 30% on your annual water charges. Please note that the household income of £16,385 per year or less must include all types of income except the following:

  • Child tax credit and/or child benefit
  • Disability living allowance / Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance allowance
  • Housing benefit and council tax reduction
  • Mortgage interest relief
Helping Hand

It is funded by donations from South East Water and offers financial assistance to clear water and sewerage debt. If successful with your application, a provisional award is made, dependent on the completion of a payment plan for your on-going bill. This must be paid for 6 months without defaulting.

Short-term Payment Support

If you are struggling to keep up with your water bills, South East Water offer a number of payment options and support for you including:

  • Setting affordable payment amounts
  • Weekly or fortnightly payment arrangements through convenient methods
  • Whether paying by a water meter could reduce charges
  • Offering payment holidays or breaks to help you through shorter term difficulties
South Staffs Water
Personal Payment Plans

South Staffs Water understands that finding the money to pay your bill can sometimes be difficult. If you’re having trouble paying your bill, there are many ways South Staffs Water can help, including payment plans. It is important that you contact them as soon as possible if you are finding it difficult to pay your water bill.

Assure

If you are on a low income or struggling to pay water charges, the Assure tariff may be able to help; it aims to make your bills more affordable through discounted charges. You may be eligible if your household income is less than £16,380 – this figure does exclude income received from certain benefits, please check their website for full details.

You can also be eligible if you are in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Element, potentially getting a discount of 60% on the water charge in the first year and 40% in the second year.

Charitable Trust

If you are having significant money problems, you may be able to apply to the South Staffordshire Water Charitable Trust for help towards the cost of your water bill.

The Trust is a registered charity that operates independently of South Staffs Water and aims to assist those customers who are in need or who are suffering hardship or other distress.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

New COVID measures

In response to the pandemic, South Staffs Water have introduced the Assure COVID-19 Tariff, created for anyone whose household income has temporarily become less than £16,380 per year as a result of COVID-19. The Assure COVID-19 tariff is a 60% discount on water charges for a three month period,  and you would need to provide additional proof of how COVID-19 has affected your income. You are also eligible if you are on Pension Credit.

They also provide payment breaks for anyone who is temporarily unable to make their payments of between 1 and 3 months.

South West Water
WaterCare Tariff

The WaterCare tariff may be able to help you if you

  • Have a water meter (or can have one fitted)
  • Are in receipt of one or more of the specified means tested benefits detailed on the website. This can be you or someone else in the household.

Assessments are based on the household’s weekly ‘equivalised’ income after housing costs are deducted. The tariff is made up of three bands offering a percentage reduction off the standard meter charges. If you are eligible, you will be placed on the most appropriate WaterCare tariff band to your circumstances.

ReStart

ReStart is a debt write-off scheme designed to help if you have a significant amount of debt on your water account. It is designed to encourage better money management through an agreed payment plan:

  • Year 1: if you meet and pay the current year charges, an equivalent amount from their debt is written off.
  • Year 2: if the customer meets and pays the current year charges, their remaining debt is written off.

To apply for the ReStart scheme customers need to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget.

FreshStart

The FreshStart fund is available to assist you if you’re new to debt or dealing with an extraordinary life event. This fund will help clear your debt and assist you with ongoing bills, giving you the time and financial assistance to adjust to these new circumstances – for example, if you’re left with debt following the death of a partner, unemployment, relationship breakdown or illness.

South West Water fund this scheme, which is administered by Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau.

Priority Services Register

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

WaterCare+

WaterCare+ is a scheme to help you if you’re struggling to pay your bill by:

  • Checking you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to
  • Making sure you’re on the right tariff for the lowest possible water bill
  • Carrying out a home water and energy audit and suggesting simple ways to reduce your water and energy use
  • Fixing dripping taps or leaking cisterns and installing simple water-saving devices
Southern Water
Essentials Tariff

This tariff is designed to help if you are struggling to pay your water services charges. It provides a least a 20% discount on future bills. You will qualify for the Essentials tariff if you are a Southern Water customer and:

  • Your household income is less than £21,000 (excluding Disability Living Allowance or Personal Indpendence Payments) – this is a temporary increase in threshold until March 2021, or
  • Someone in your household receives pension credits.
NewStart

If you have arrears on your Southern Water account and haven’t made a payment in a while, you may be eligible for the NewStart scheme. Southern Water will arrange to match your payments as part of an agreed plan to help clear your debt

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Free Water-Saving Services

If you’re both a water and waste customer and have a water meter, you can apply for a free home visit. On this visit, free watersaving products will be fitted; for example, toilet dual-flush converters, tap aerators and showerheads. The engineers will also discuss your water usage with you and offer advice about how to save water, money and energy.

Thames Water
Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Customer Assistance Fund

If you are struggling financially and have water debt of £120 or more from a previous billing year (prior to April), the Customer Assistance Fund may be able to help.

If you are billed by Thames Water, can pay your current bills and make some contribution towards your debt each month, you may qualify for Thames Water’s Payment Matching Scheme. For every £1 you pay towards your debt, Thames Water will match those payments. And, if you stay on the scheme for two years, they will clear any outstanding water debt at that time.

The fund is administered independently by Auriga Services who will assess eligibility for assistance and work with you to agree payment levels. Auriga will also sign you up to any special water tariffs that may reduce your current bills and help with other debt guidance.

Thames Water Trust Fund

The Thames Water Trust Fund is an independent, registered charity whose aim is to help our customers who may be facing very difficult circumstances and can’t afford to buy essential items such as a washing machine or bed.

The Trustees work closely with our Customer Assistance Fund applicants to see if they can get additional financial support from the Trust. It also gives grants to organisations who provide debt and money advice. These grants enable the organisations to employ a specialist advisor to help if you need support resolving any financial hardship.

Please note that applications for the Trust Fund must come as a referral from a Thames-funded organisation or the Thames Extra Care Team

WaterHelp

The WaterHelp scheme is available if you are in low-income household. To be eligible, your annual gross household income (less any disability related payments) needs to be less than £16,385. This is increased to £19,747 for those in London boroughs (including outer London boroughs). If you qualify, you’ll receive 50% off your water bill.

Flexible Payments

If you need support during the coronavirus pandemic, Thames Water may be able to temporarily reduce or postpone your water bill payments for three months, as part of their Flexible Payment Scheme. After this time, any charges that were reduced or paused will be spread across your following payments over the next 9 months, so please bear in mind that this scheme provides temporary relief.

They will be able to support you with this scheme if:

  • You need to stop work without pay, to either self-isolate or take care of children or a vulnerable family member.
  • You’ve been made redundant, or told to take unpaid leave or reduced pay (less than 80% of your normal pay) for a period of time.
  • You were up to date with your payments up to 31 March 2020 or had missed payments totalling no more than £50.
Water and Energy Saving Devices

If you’re a Thames Water customer, they have an online calculator to show you how much water you could save.  Once completed, you’ll get the opportunity to request water and energy saving gadgets such as tap inserts and save a flush devices.

United Utilities
United Utilities Trust Fund

If you are facing hardship and experiencing difficulties in meeting your water/sewerage charges, the United Utilities Trust Fund may be able to help. Managed and administered by Auriga Services, the Trust Fund can give grants to help with water charges and, in certain cases, other essential costs. They can also refer you to any other United Utilities scheme for further help.

Back on Track

If you are on certain benefits, are in arrears with your previous years’ water charges or have a reduced income due to COVID-19, you could be eligible for the Back on Track scheme. Depending on your individual circumstances, you can receive a reduced water charge for the year.

Please note that to apply for the scheme, you will need to provide income and expenditure so that they can assess how much you can afford to pay, as well as evidence if COVID-19 has affected your income.

Help to Pay

If you are receiving Pension Credits and are struggling to pay your water bill, the Help to Pay scheme may help you. This will cap your annual water charges to a set amount.

Payment Matching Plus

If you have built up a lot of debt and are finding it difficult to pay, the United Utilities Payment Matching scheme will help. For every £1 you pay, the company pays £1 too, with their contribution increasing to £2 if the customer continues to make payments until the debt is cleared.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Payment Break

If you are struggling to pay for your water bill due to an unforeseen circumstance like job loss, illness, injury bereavement or emergency, you may be eligible for the Payment Break scheme for short-term relief. The scheme works to delay your water bill payments for a set period of time. Then, when you’re ready to start paying again, they will spread your delayed payments over a longer period.

Wessex Water
Pension Credit Discount

If you receive Pension credit, you could be entitled to a discount of around £60 off your water and/or sewerage bill. You can apply if Wessex Water provide you with water and/or sewerage services and all the adults in your household receive Pension Credit or the state pension is your (and their) only income.

WaterSurePlus

WaterSure Plus can help you if you are on a low income and you have a water meter. It will put a limit on your charges for water and sewerage services. The scheme is for anyone who has a water meter and lives in a low income household with unavoidably high water use. You must also receive a means-tested benefit or tax credit, as well as either:

  • Child benefit for three or more children living at home under the age of 19; or
  • Have higher than average water usage in your household due to a medical condition.
Assist

The Assist tariff aims to help if you are in extreme financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay your water bill. If eligible, you would pay a lower bill than normal which is assessed on your individual situation. You will most likely be asked to seek free independent debt advice and complete a financial budget before applying.

Wessex Water have also expanded the Assist tariff to include those struggling to pay due to a loss of income directly as a result of COVID-19. If you are able to get back on track reasonably quickly, they will remove the need to complete a financial budget or seek independent advice. They would just need to know why you need help, and how much you can afford.

If successful, your bill will be lowered for six months, giving you some breathing space and helping you avoid slipping into unnecessary debt. The standard Assist process/rules remain for those in debt or arrears due to COVID and those who were already struggling prior to March 2020.

ReStart

If you are in significant water debt and can’t repay but can afford your ongoing water bills, you may be eligible to apply for the Restart scheme. You would pay the water charges for the current year, and at the end of the year, Wessex Water will reduce your debt by an equivalent amount. If you keep up these charges for a second year, they will clear your remaining debt and you will be back on track.

They do ask that you get free independent advice before applying for the Restart scheme.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

Flexible Payment Plans

If you are having short term problems paying, Wessex Water can offer you a flexible payment plan.

You can pay less than you need towards your water bill for an agreed period of time and catch up on payments later.

COVID-19 Help

Wessex Water are offering support if you are worried about being able to pay your water bill due to the pandemic. If you have a loss of income directly due to Covid-19, please answer the questions on their online form, to see how they can support you.

Yorkshire Water
WaterSupport

If your household has a low income and your annual water bill is more than £430, the WaterSupport scheme may be able to help. The scheme will cap your water bill at a set reduced amount.

Yorkshire Water Community Trust

If you are in a multiple debt situation and not received any financial help from the trust in the last two years, you can apply to the Yorkshire Water Community Trust. They can make financial awards to help clear water and sewerage arrears up to a maximum of £750. To apply, you need to provide them with information about your income, outgoings and details of at least one priority debt.

Resolve

If you have over 12 months arrears for water charges, have a low income, and are struggling with repayment, you can apply for the Resolve scheme. The aim is for you to be debt-free so you can continue with your ongoing charges at an affordable amount. They will agree regular payments with you for a minimum of 12 months and will make contributions towards your arrears every 3 months to help ease your debt.

Priority Services

You can apply to their Priority Services Register which is completely free and allows you to access extra help both in emergencies and general life. To find out more about the Priority Services Register, visit Bill’s page.

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Ask Bill made a social tariff application on my behalf to reduce my water bill and they also increased my benefits by more than £30 per week

Jacob, 2021
Jacob, 2021
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