All water companies should offer you a payback or “start over” plan designed to help you pay off your debt faster — or even write it off entirely. We explain how they work and who is eligible
If you’re struggling to pay your water bill, you may be one of thousands of households who are eligible for help through a payback scheme.
All water companies should offer you a payback or “start over” plan designed to help you pay off your debt faster — or even write it off entirely.
The type of repayment plans vary between providers, but the general idea is that if you agree to pay back a certain amount, they will also pay something for your debt.
For example, United Utilities will charge £1 for every £1 you pay and increase this to £2 if you continue to make payments.
Some companies will even pay off part of your debt if you keep making repayments.
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Thames Water says it will work out an affordable payment plan based on income and expenses if customers are eligible.
In one example, Thames Water says if your current water bill is costing you £360 a year (£30 a month) and you owe £800, it will agree to pay you an extra £10 a month for your debt.
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Thames Water would then double that monthly payment of £10 in a flat rate of £60 every six months.
After two years you would have paid £240 on your £800 debt and Thames Water would have offset this with a further £240 – meaning you would have paid off £480 of your £800 debt.
“To thank you for your contributions we would then settle the balance of £320 via a final grant,” the company said online.
Because each repayment system differs from company to company, you should contact your water utility directly to see if you are eligible for assistance.
More households will seek help with their bills after water and waste water tariffs in England and Wales rose by an average of 1.7% this month.
Some households may find their bills increasing more or less than this average number – for example people in Essex will see their bills increase by 10%.
How to get help paying the water bill
Your water company can’t cut off your supply – but they could take you to court if you default on your bills.
That means it’s important to speak to your water utility as soon as possible if you’re having trouble making your repayments.
Aside from giving you a payment plan, another assistance they might be able to offer you is a social plan that will lower your bills.
You can also benefit from installing a free water meter – but this depends on the size of your home and the number of people living in it.
Martin Lewis previously explained that it’s worth checking if you have more or as many bedrooms in your home as people.
If you have a water meter, you may be eligible for help through the Watersure program.
This also limits the water bill if you are on benefits or have to use large amounts of water due to multiple children or medical reasons.
Another way to reduce your water bill is to minimize your consumption with water-saving devices.
Households across much of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can purchase a range of free insulation and equipment through Save Water Save Money.
You can find out who your local water supplier is by entering your postcode on the WaterUK website.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/little-known-way-clear-write-26832675 Little-known way to pay off or write off water bill debt and it could save you hundreds