5th September 2014
As the cost of living outstrips wages more people are struggling to to afford basic utility bills like water. While much has been written about the rising cost of electricity and gas bills, there are households who are unable to meet their water bills, according to the Consumer Council for Water.
The number of people struggling to pay their bills has increased from one in eight last year to one in five today. In a new report, Living with water poverty 2014: keeping your head above water, it reveals many water customers suffer in silence rather than seek help with paying their water bill.
However, by failing to seek help for their predicament they are missing out on help from water company assistance funds such as WaterSure and Welsh Water Assist.
The council has said water companies need to help pinpoint those in debt and proactively help them with their water bills and how they can better help those who are struggling to pay.
Andy White, senior policy manager at the Consumer Council for Water, said: ‘One in five water customers now tell us their bill is not affordable – compared to one in eight last year.
“Customers who are struggling to pay should get in touch with their water company as soon as possible. [We have] helped ensure the number of customers signing up for assistance has increased, but it’s still not enough. The water industry should make it a priority to ensure customers know this help is available, and how to get it.”