Assistance schemes can help struggling customers 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 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.

Barbara Leech, policy manager at CCWater, 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.”

An increasing number of water companies offer lower tariffs to eligible customers who are struggling to pay and all offer more flexible payment options, such as weekly or monthly payment plans. Many water companies have also set up trust funds and other schemes that can help customers clear any water charge debts.

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.

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