Assistance schemes can help struggling customers in Wales keep their head above water

HOUSEHOLDS faced with mounting debts and struggling to pay their water bill are being urged by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) to make a New Year’s resolution to seek immediate help with their payments.

For many struggling families the dawn of a New Year will bring with it the stark reality of debt which may have spiralled out of control during the big spending pressures of Christmas.

That may leave some households in Wales struggling to pay their water bill which is why CCWater is urging customers to seek assistance now rather than suffer in silence while their debts continue to mount.

Diane McCrea, chair of CCWater’s Wales Committee, said: “For some households the joy of Christmas can quickly be replaced by worries over debt. When it comes to paying your water bill, water companies are able to offer more support than ever before – but customers need to let their company know they need help.”

“We know from our research that many customers don’t expect to be able to get any help with paying water bills or clearing outstanding water debt, so they choose to suffer in silence. But help is available and we would urge them to make a New Year’s resolution to join those who are already taking this up by either calling their water company or visiting CCWater’s website.”

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Dee Valley Water and Severn Trent offer more flexible payment options, such as weekly or monthly payment plans. Companies also offer lower tariffs to eligible customers who are struggling to pay, through existing assistance schemes such as WaterSure, Welsh Water Assist, and HelpU, the new Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water tariff due to launch in April 2015.

Dŵr Cymru also operates a Customer Assistance Fund, which can help customers clear any water charge debts through agreed regular payments. The Severn Trent Trust Fund also offers assistance to customers who are unable to pay their bills.

Some customers on certain income related benefits may be eligible for the Water Direct scheme, where a set amount is deducted directly from their benefits to help clear any arrears.

Customers in need of assistance or advice should contact their water company now or visit the CCWater website at www.ccwater.org.uk

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  • CCWater recommends that customers contact their water company for help as soon as they face difficulties in paying their bill.  Free independent money advice and assistance is also available from a number of organisations such as the Money Advice Service, Citizens Advice, National Debtline and StepChange.

 

Categories: Wales