Households across the country have been impacted by rising costs of living. With double digit headline inflation and annual food bills set to increase by £380 this year, according to Kantar, Yorkshire Water has responded to the cost-of-living increase, with an additional £15 million from the company’s shareholders available for support with bills through to 2025. It brings total support for customers to £115 million across the five year AMP7 period from April 2020 to 2025.
The number of customers asking for financial support from Yorkshire Water has doubled in recent months. The bill relief package will support over 100,000 customers struggling to pay their bill every year.
Zoe Burns-Shore, Yorkshire Water’s director of customer experience, said: “The rising cost of living is difficult for a lot of people. We’ve seen the number of customers applying for our current financial support schemes double in the last three months alone. The additional funding announced today will help those that are struggling to pay their bill.
“We know from speaking to our customers that there are households impacted by the cost of living crisis that wouldn’t have previously worried about their water bill. With inflation growing, their disposable income has dropped, and they now find themselves in a position where they cannot afford it all. Our shareholders are committing a further £15 million in response to the extreme cost of living crisis, which will provide some relief to those worried about paying their water bill.”
The company’s current schemes include:
- WaterSupport, which helps customers on lower incomes, with income-based benefits, pay water charges
- Community Trust, an independent charity at Yorkshire Water supporting customers who have arrears
- WaterSure, which can help low-income households where there are larger families, or customers who need to use additional water for a medical condition
- Resolve, which helps those who are struggling with debt to catch up on previous bills
The average annual saving for customers on WaterSupport is more than £200.
Zoe continued: “Our community engagement teams work closely with external organisations, such as the Job Centre, local authorities, housing associations, and Step Change, to ensure we’re reaching as many people as possible. This week we are meeting with other large employers in Yorkshire to discuss how we can provide further support to those that are struggling.
“If you are in debt or struggling to pay your water bill – please get in touch to find out more about how we can help.”