Help with my bills

Water companies recognise that sometimes people can struggle to pay their bills and may fall into debt. If this happens to you, your water company can help. Below are the types of schemes that companies offer, but not all companies can offer every scheme. Contact your water company to explain your situation and they will be able to tell you what help they can provide.

COVID-19: What financial support is available?

Lots of people are experiencing unexpected changes in their circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic. That includes changes in their financial circumstances and their ability to keep up with household bills. Find out what financial support is available for you.

Payment matching

These schemes can reduce debt if customers stick to a payment plan. Eligible customers will need to make payments against a pre-agreed payment plan set by the water company. If the customer does this then after a time period set by the water company, their debt will be reduced.

Grants (provided by independent trust schemes)

Some companies have trust funds that can help customers clear their debts and start afresh. Grants can be awarded to help with water debt or other financial difficulties. Each independent trust company has its own eligibility criteria.

Flexible payment plans

Water companies can offer flexible payment plans (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and in some cases can offer ‘payment holidays’ to help customers through short-term financial difficulties. Contact your water company directly to discuss available options.

Water direct

Working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), this scheme offers the customer the option to pay water and sewerage charges through their benefits if they are already in debt with their company.


There’s also the WaterSure scheme which is available to customers in receipt of income-related benefits who have a water meter, and either a large family or a member of the household with a medical condition that requires a significant use of water. The water and sewerage bill is capped at the cost of their company’s average household bill. Eligibility rules apply.

Other ways to save money

Other organisations that can help

For free, independent advice to those experiencing financial problems, see our list of organisations which help those struggling to pay.

The Government has also set up a cost of living advice page which brings together all the help available to households facing cost of living pressures.

Reduced Bills (Social Tariffs)

Companies can offer some customers a lower bill if the income of the household is not higher than the individual companies threshold. Each company operates its own scheme with different qualifying criteria. Find out what each company offers below:

Affinity Water – Lift

Information on Affinity Water’s Lift scheme.

Anglian Water – Lite

Information on Anglian Water’s Lite scheme.

Bournemouth Water – WaterCare

Information on Bournemouth WaterCare scheme.

Bristol Water – Assist

Information on Bristol Water’s Assist scheme.

Cambridge – Assure

Information about Cambridge Water’s – Assure scheme

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water – HelpU

Information on Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s HelpU scheme

Essex and Suffolk Water – SupportPLUS

Information on Essex and Suffolk Water’s SupportPLUS scheme.

Hafren Dyfrdwy – Here2Help

Information on Hafren Dyfrdwy (Dee Valley’s) Here2Help scheme.

Hartlepool – Lite

Information on Hartlepool Lite scheme.

Northumbrian Water – SupportPLUS

Information on Northumbrian Water’s SupportPLUS scheme.

Portsmouth – Helping Hand Scheme

Information on Portsmouth Water’s new Social Tariff scheme.

Severn Trent Water – Big Difference

Information of Severn Trent Water’s Big Difference scheme.

South East Water

Information on South East Water’s scheme.

Southern Water – Essentials Tariff

Information on Southern Water’s scheme.

South Staffordshire Water – Assure

Information about South Staffordshire Water’s – Assure scheme.

South West Water – WaterCare

Information on South West Water’s WaterCare scheme.

SES Water – Water Support

Information on SES Water’s scheme.

Thames Water – WaterHelp

Information on Thames Water’s WaterHelp scheme.

United Utilities – Help to Pay and Back on Track

Information on United Utilities’ Help to Pay and Back on Track scheme.

Wessex Water – Assist

Information on Wessex Water’s Assist scheme.

Yorkshire Water – WaterSupport

Information on Yorkshire Water’s WaterSupport scheme.