Our review of water affordability has sparked a wave of action over the past year to improve the support for people who struggle to afford their water bills. Governments, water companies, Water UK and Ofwat have enthusiastically taken on the challenge of delivering changes that will help ease the pressure on millions of households.


6 out of 10

of the review’s key recommendations have been fully or largely implemented.


24 out of 40

actions have been fully or largely implemented. A further 14 are on the path to completion.

Ending the postcode lottery by 2025


The UK and Welsh Governments are exploring our proposal for a single water affordability scheme to end the postcode lottery of financial support that our review highlighted as a major barrier to ensuring everyone gets the help they need.

New legislation would be required to bring about meaningful changes that ensure everyone has access to fair and consistent support with their water bill.

Commitment to care for customers


Ofwat has updated its Paying Fair guidance to companies on dealing with customers in debt to reflect the conclusions from our review. The regulator is also working on developing a new customer-focused condition for water companies’ licences.

This would require companies to consider affordability and vulnerability across all of their operations.

Making services more inclusive

Water companies have committed to embedding inclusive service delivery through achieving accreditation against British or international standards.

Improving the flow of data

Water UK and companies have been working to put in place and strengthen data-sharing agreements, so companies can more easily identify customers
who could qualify for financial help.

Pilot schemes

10 water companies have been piloting nine of our recommended actions across 12 pilot schemes. Six of these pilots have been completed and the findings shared with the rest of the industry to support and inform their own changes.

Our one year on report