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Cost of living struggles strengthen case for new water affordability scheme

New research highlighting households’ struggles with the cost of living underlines the urgent need for a new universal scheme to help customers who struggle to afford their water bill.

Senior couple paying monthly bills at home.

A study published by the regulator Ofwat found just over half of water bill payers believe they will struggle to pay a utility bill over the coming year – rising to 7 in 10 if there are children in the household.

Against the backdrop of rising inflation and soaring energy bills, about 6 out of 10 people expect to see their finances get worse in the coming year.

Responding to the findings, Emma Clancy, CCW’s Chief Executive, recently said:

“The fact six out of ten households expect their finances to get worse in the coming year reinforces the urgent need for a new water affordability scheme that provides fair and consistent support for people who cannot afford their bills. There is a compelling case for ending the current postcode lottery of water bill support, which is why we’re working with Ofwat, government and water companies to bring about meaningful change.”

It’s almost a year since CCW published its independent review of water affordability – on behalf of the UK an Welsh Governments – which set out a raft of recommendations to improve support for households struggling to afford their water bills.

These included the creation of a single social tariff to provide fair and consistent support for households across England and Wales – ending the current postcode lottery of assistance. CCW will be publishing an update in the summer of the progress that has been made.

In the meantime, households that are worried about being able to afford their water bill should check out our comprehensive guide to the existing support 


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