Even before the economic impact of Covid-19, 1 in 10 households in England and Wales told us that they struggled to afford their water bill.
Water companies do offer help through social tariffs, but the number of people who we think could qualify for this support far exceeds the level of funding that is available. There are also certain groups who are even more at risk of missing out on financial support with bills – the under 25s, over 75s and minority ethnic groups.
We want to drive change to create a fairer system that offers meaningful help to everyone who struggles to pay their bills.
To deliver our campaign, we will:
- Work with Governments to introduce changes recommended by the CCW Water Affordability Review to improve support schemes for customers. We will do this by engaging with MPs and MSs to add their support to our campaign.
- Get other consumer champions to join us in our call for change, including StepChange, Citizens Advice (CA), CA Cymru and National Energy Action.
- Speak out in the media to call for change based on the findings of our Water Affordability Review.
- Develop a bespoke campaign identity that combines impactful design with a cohesive narrative that resonates with its intended audience and supports the objective above.
- Encourage best practice sharing by companies who are making good progress towards eliminating water poverty, and who demonstrate a good understanding of the underlying causes and how to raise consumer awareness of support.
- Where appropriate encourage the sharing of Government data to help water companies and regulators identify those who need support
- Make sure the help retailers offer due to Covid-19 is getting to the business customers who need it.
As a result, we want to see:
- No one is in water poverty by 2030, with the number of customers supported through schemes to reduce bills increasing from around 1m to at least 2m by 2024.
- By 2024 the approach to social tariffs in England and Wales reflects the recommendations we make to the governments in our Water Affordability Review.