Last week it was announced that the average cost of water bills in Wales is set to rise from April. With 1 in 8 customers already telling us they find their water bill unaffordable, this will undoubtedly have an impact on people already feeling the pinch. With this in mind, CCW’s Senior Policy Manager, Lia Moutselou, looks at some simple ways customers in Wales could make a saving and give themselves a much needed income boost.
Help available for customers in Wales
HelpU (Dŵr Cymru) – HelpU is a tariff that limits the annual water and sewerage charge for low income households in receipt of means-tested benefits. .
WaterSure Wales limits the bills of metered customers in receipt of benefits if they use a lot of water due to a medical condition or have a large family.
Customer Assistance Fund is a scheme available to Dŵr Cymru customers in severe financial hardship. If the customer pays their current charges for 12 months any outstanding debt is written off.
Water Direct is a payment plan for Dŵr Cymru customers in debt which can help pay water charges out of the claimant’s benefit; an alternative to direct debit/payment card. Customers who pay this way will receive £25 discount on their bill each year.
Here2help (Hafren Dyfrdwy) – You may qualify for a bill reduction if you’re on a low income. You don’t need to be in receipt of benefits or in arrears.
- Non-Owner Occupier regulations have been implemented by Welsh Government as a way of tackling high levels of disproportionately high water debt among renters. The legislation requires landlords to ensure their water company is informed of any changes in tenancy within 21 days. If this is not done, landlords can become jointly and severally liable for water and sewerage charges.
- If you’re a tenant, you are more than likely responsible for paying the water bill. Make sure you keep up with payments because you will be responsible for any debt accrued even if you leave the property. If you are struggling, speak to your provider as soon as possible for help and support.
Could you be saving money on a meter?
- For many households, one of the easiest ways to save could be to switch to a water meter. Your water company will install one free and – in most cases – give you up to two years to decide if it’s right for you. Try our Water Meter Calculator before making a decision.
- Our Benefits Calculator and Grants Search Tool can help you identify if you’re missing out on additional financial support. The calculator helps you identify whether you are entitled to a wide range of means-tested benefits, and the grants search tool searches more than 3,000 charitable funds to see if you might qualify for assistance.
- For those needing extra help, take a look at the Priority Services Register which offers access to free additional support.