Households urged to soak up April shower of bill savings
Switching to a water meter or tapping into financial support from water companies’ social tariff schemes could help millions of low-income households stay afloat ahead of a wave of April bill rises.
The Consumer Council for Water (CCW) is urging people that have been hit in the pocket during Covid-19 to join more than a million customers who are already receiving ongoing financial help from their water company.
Water is one of the few household bills set to fall on average from 1 April by about £2 but consumers still face many other soaring costs including energy, council tax, mobile phones, broadband and TV licences.
Not everyone will also see their water and sewerage charges fall with changes to bills depending on a host of factors including where people live, whether or not they are metered and other individual circumstances.
That’s why CCW wants customers on a low income to dip into the pool of help on offer from their water company with social tariff schemes, payment breaks or switching to a water meter, just some of the options available.
Senior Policy Manager Andy White said
“Covid-19 has hit millions of people in the pocket which makes the prospect of some significant bill rises in April even harder to swallow.”
“Water is often overlooked when it comes to saving money but whether it’s trialling the benefits of a water meter or seeing if you’re eligible for your supplier’s social tariff – there’s the potential to slash hundreds of pounds of your water bill.”
Sign up to a social tariff – average saving typically £150
Every water company in England and Wales has a social tariff scheme that caps the bills of low-income customers who meet the eligibility criteria. Each scheme and the support it provides is different but CCW has a guide to these tariffs on its website. Bills can be reduced by as much as 90 per cent in some instances.
Cap your bills with WaterSure – average saving £270
WaterSure is also offered by all companies in England and Wales. It limits metered bills for low income, high water users to – at most – the average bill for the region. Customers qualify for help through this scheme if they are metered; in receipt of certain welfare benefits and are receiving child benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 or have someone living at the property with a medical condition requiring high water use.
Trial a water meter – average saving £200
For smaller households – even those having to spend more time at home during lockdown – one of the most effective ways to cut their bill remains switching to a water meter. Water companies usually give customers two years to trial the benefits and return to unmetered charges if they’re unhappy – unless you live in parts of the south of England where metering is becoming compulsory.
Over the past year more than 220,000 people have used CCW’s free water meter calculator to see if they might save money by switching – clocking up savings totalling £14 million.
Give your finances a break with a payment holiday
Customers who just need some breathing room with bills might want to consider joining almost 100,000 households who have already taken a payment break since the outbreak of Covid-19.
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