HUNDREDS of thousands of struggling households could get up to £50 in extra help towards their water bills.
Water companies are increasing their support for low- income households by up to £200 million, according to Water UK.
Some of the support is available now, while other schemes will become available over the coming weeks and months.
It comes as households battle soaring bills as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
The help on offer will vary depending onyour supplier, but you could get up to £50 in cash support to help with bills.
Below, we explain the help available from each water company, when it is available, how much you could get as well as when, and how you can claim.
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Affinity Water is making one-off affordability payments of up to £50 for 30,000 of its more financially vulnerable customers.
The cash is automatically credited to accounts identified by the company, and will show on your next bill.
All eligible customers have been contacted directly.
Anglian Water has launched a £135million package to help 330,000 customers struggling to pay their bills.
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The water company is now offering a range of services to support struggling customers.
And some customers will be eligible for discounted tariffs that could slash their bills by up to 50%.
Others can get affordable payment plans, payment holidays in certain circumstances, and direct support through the Anglian Water Assistance Fund.
The fund helps to cover the cost of bills and could even clear your water debt if you're in arrears.
Customers in need of support should contact the water company directly – through their website, Twitter, Facebook or by calling the Anglican Water extra care team on 0800 169 3630.
Northumbrian Water has increased the support that it has available to its financially vulnerable customers.
Struggling households can set up a payment plan, apply for a low income discount or apply for a payment break.
The support is available to households now, and anyone who thinks they could be eligible should visit the Northumbrian Water website to find out more.
The company has increased the length of payment holidays from three to six months to help households with their bills.
It has also moved more than 10,000 customers onto social tariffs.
If Portsmouth Water is your supplier, you should contact them directly if are having difficulties paying your bill.
Severn Trent helping 100,000 additional households with social tariffs as part of an additional £30 million package of support.
More than 215,000 households are already being supported.
As part of the company's Big Difference Scheme, households can get a reduction on their water bills if their income us below £18,278.
If you're eligible, you could get up to 90% off your average bill.
You can apply for the scheme on the Severn Trent website.
South East Water
South East Water has increased the threshold for its social tariff from £16,480 to £18,005.
This is so that more customers can receive financial help.
Eligible households are automatically enrolled in the scheme, so there is no need to apply.
South West Water
South West Water has made nearly £70 million of support available to customers since 2020.
More than £39.2million has been given back to customers through reduced bills.
If your supplier is South West Water and you need help paying your bill, you can fill in a simple form on its website to find out what help you can claim.
South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water
The company has increased the income threshold of their social tariff from £17,005 per year to £19,050, so that more customers are eligible.
You can find out more about the social tariffs on the supplier's website.
Southern Water is providing a £98m package of support for customers.
It has increased the minimum discount from 20% to 45%, with those most at need receiving up to 90% off their bills
Thames Water is to provide support to an additional 53,000 households this year.
The company has a range of support on offer for customers, including payment plans and debt support schemes.
The supplier is providing a total of £280m support help the most vulnerable up to 2025.
It is helping through discounted tariffs and grants to individuals and families, with more than 200,000 customers set to be supported this year.
If you live in the United Utilities area, you can apply for help online.
How can I slash my water bills at home?
Moving to a water meter could help some save some extra cash.
One mum more than halved her water bill after getting a meter – saving over £200 a year.
However, if you do use a lot of water then it makes no sense to have a meter as your bills could go up.
The Consumer Council for Water offers a free water meter calculator that'll tell you if you can save by fitting a water meter.
For example, if you have a big family and more people than bedrooms or simply use lots of water-intensive appliances like washing machines or dishwashers, a fixed fee will be better for you.
Having a water meter doesn't help with the standard charge that's based on where you live either, but it can help you cut down the costs of your personal usage at home.
Part of that is how long you spend in the shower too.
According to Uswitch, you could cut £70 from your energy bills and reduce your water bills too by reducing your wash time.
And leaving the water running while you brush your teeth could add £60 a year to your bills says Octopus.
The same goes for washing dishes, be sure you turn the tap off as if you’re doing it in the sink, leaving it running will add £25 to your annual bill.
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Many water companies offer free water-saving devices that shave pounds off your bills too – which can slash your bills by hundreds every year.
Contact your supplier or check out savewatersavemoney.co.uk.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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