Low-income households across Wales can take action now to beat an April rise in water bills by tapping into the financial support available from their water company.
That’s according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) which has responded to today’s (Wednesday) announcement that the average household water and sewerage bill for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water customers in 2017/18 will rise by less than 0.5 per cent to £439.
Dee Valley Water’s average water bill will rise by around two per cent to £150 from April 2017. It means that the average water and sewerage bill for their customers – based on Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s sewerage charges – will be £407.
The figures show average bills but what customers actually end up paying will vary depending on individual circumstances. Some customers will see increases that might be more or less than the average for their water company.
Tom Taylor, Wales Chair for CCWater, said: “Any increase in water charges is going to hurt those households that are already struggling to pay their bills. That’s why we’re pleased Dŵr Cymru is aiming to support 100,000 or more low-income households by 2020 through its HelpU and other assistance tariffs. Dee Valley customers can seek similar support through its Here2Help social tariff.”
“Now is also a good time for households to look at whether they might be better off on a water meter by using CCWater’s free online calculator. Customers have up to two years to trial a meter and switch back if they’re not saving money or are unhappy with it.”
Customers struggling to pay household bills may be able to boost their income by using the Benefits Calculator and Grants Search Tool on CCWater’s website. Since partnering with poverty relief charity Turn2Us to launch the tools last January, consumers across England and Wales have identified annual welfare benefit entitlements of more than £3.25 million.
The tools are available at www.ccwater.org.uk along with a water meter calculator which customers can use to find out whether they would save money by switching to a water meter. In some cases opting for a meter can save households more than £100 a year.
Customers can find out more about how their money is being spent by water companies in Wales by visiting www.discoverwater.co.uk