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Discount on water bills and help with debt

Water companies have discounts and schemes to help you pay your water bill. They can help if you:

  • use lots of water because of your condition
  • fall behind on paying your bill
  • have debt
  • are on 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.

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

Water companies offer discounts and schemes to support you if you cannot pay your bill. You cannot change your water company, like with gas and electricity, but you may be able to switch your tariff.

You may be eligible for discounts or schemes if you:

  • are in debt
  • use more water because of a medical condition
  • are on a lower income
  • receive certain benefits

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 at £421.42 a year. 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. To save money, you could try:

  • only filling the kettle with the water you need
  • using a bowl in the sink to do the washing up
  • only using your washing machine or dishwasher when it’s full
  • taking short showers instead of baths
  • turning off the tap when brushing your teeth
  • getting leaking taps fixed

Using a water-efficient shower head could save a family of 4 £75 on their gas bill and about £120 on their water bill (if metered) each year.

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)

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: 28/03/2022

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