Discount on water bills and help with debt

Ask your water supplier about discounts and schemes if anyone in your household:

  • uses lots of water because of a medical condition
  • has trouble paying bills
  • has debt
  • is on a low income

Warning You cannot have your water cut off

Water companies cannot cut off your water supply and will do their best to support you with your bill.

Charges for water

If your home has a water meter, someone from the water company will read it and you pay for the water you use.

If you do not have a meter

If you do not have a water meter, you’ll pay a flat rate no matter how much water you use. This is called an assessed charge. Your bill is based on how much a household the same size as yours typically pays.

Paying for water without a meter (Citizens Advice)

If you live alone

You cannot get a discount on your water bill for single occupancy. But your bill should be less than if you lived with other people because either:

  • you have a water meter and only pay for the water you use
  • your flat rate is based on the amount of water someone living alone uses

If you cannot pay your bill

If you cannot pay your bill, speak with the water company. They will help you create a plan and look at any discounts or schemes you could apply for.

Create a budget for your payment plan (Income and Expenditure Hub)

If you miss a payment, you’ll receive a letter from the water company asking you to contact them.

Contact customer services and they’ll transfer you to the right team.

Find your water supplier (Water UK)

Check you’re on the priority services register

Every water company has a priority services register. Being on the register means you get extra support. For example, you could get:

  • priority if there is a problem with your supply
  • bills in accessible formats
  • notified in advance of water issues in your area
  • bottled water while they fix your supply

You can sign up to the register using a form on your water company’s website.

Check you’re eligible to sign up

Find your water company’s sign up form

Discounts and schemes

What’s available depends on your circumstances. You could also be on 2 schemes at the same time.

WaterSure Scheme

All water companies offer the WaterSure scheme, which caps your water bill. You can apply if you use lots of water because you:

  • live with 3 or more children under 19 years old
  • have a certain medical condition, such as Parkinson’s, eczema and being on dialysis

You must claim an income-based benefit and have a water meter to apply.

Check if you’re eligible for WaterSure (Citizens Advice)

Social tariffs

If you’re on a low income, your water company might offer you a discount on your bill called a social tariff. The discount you get depends on what your water company offers.

Check what social tariffs your water company offers (CCW)

Debt relief schemes

Most water companies have schemes to help you pay any water bill debt. They’ll review your financial situation and may suggest:

  • a payment plan
  • funding you can apply for to pay off your debt

This information may not be on the company’s website. Ask if they have any schemes.

Help with your water bill

As well as getting help from your water company, Scope’s team can:

  • check what support you’re eligible for help
  • you apply for water bill discounts and schemes
  • give you advice on saving water
  • help with other utility bills like electricity and gas

Book a free appointment with a Scope adviser or call free on 0808 801 0828.

Help and advice when you are in debt

Tips to save money on your water bill

Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your water bill.

In the kitchen

  • Use the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.
  • Use a bowl in the sink to do the washing up.
  • Steam food instead of boiling.
  • Fill your kettle only with the amount of water you need,

In the bathroom

  • Running your cold tap instead of the hot tap is cheaper. When you can, choose cold water.
  • Take shorter showers - 60 seconds less in the shower will save 15 litres of water.
  • Replace a bath with a 5-minute shower instead.
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth.
  • Check toilets for leaks or sticking flush buttons.
  • Using a water-efficient shower head could save a family of 4 £75 on their gas bill and about £120 a year on a metered bill.

In the garden

  • Use a water butt to collect rainwater.
  • Use a watering can instead of sprinkler or hosepipe.
  • Use cooled cooking water to water your garden.

Water-saving devices

Ask your water company if they offer free or discounted water-saving devices. For example:

  • a toilet cistern device that saves water when you flush
  • a device that fits onto your tap to reduce the amount of water that flows through

Free water saving devices (Save Water, Save Money)

Water-saving advice

If your condition means that you need to use more water, your health must come first. Make the changes you feel able to.

Get more tips on saving water at home (WaterWise)

How to save money on water bills (MoneyHelper)

Cut your water bills (MoneySavingExpert)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 12/06/2023

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