I remember learning about the water cycle at school and drawing big fluffy clouds and rivers in my exercise book and writing long words next to them that meant very little to me at the time.
To be honest evaporation, condensation and precipitation still mean very little to me, but having clean water running out of my tap means quite a lot. But I must have missed the part of the lesson where they said we had to pay for that last bit.
A lot of people try to cut back on the amount of water they use either because they’re concerned about the environmental impact or want to save money. We’ve written about some of the ways you can save money by using less water before, but if you’re struggling to pay your water bill, what can water companies do to help?
From regional offers to national schemes, you might be surprised at the support your water company could offer you, and one of the biggest in the UK at the moment is WaterSure, offered by water companies across the country.
What is WaterSure?
WaterSure is a national scheme for water meter users who need extra support. If you’re eligible it means your bills will be capped so you’ll pay no more than the average household water bill, even if you use more than the average amount of water. What’s not to like?!
How do I qualify for WaterSure?
As well as having your water supply charged on a metered basis, there are some other criteria you need to meet to be eligible for WaterSure.
You could qualify if you receive one or more of the following benefits…
- Universal Credit
- Council Tax benefit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit (except if you only receive the family element)
- Pension Credit
You would also need for there to be three or more children under the age of 19 and in full-time education living in the property OR at least one person living at the property that has been diagnosed with a medical condition that means you need to use lots of water. Medical conditions that require a lot of water include common skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as conditions such as incontinence, Crohn’s disease or kidney failure, among others.
It’s also worth noting that if you have a garden sprinkler system or a swimming pool (wow!), you won’t qualify.
You can find out more about the eligibility criteria for WaterSure on the Ofwat website.
How do I apply for WaterSure?
Different water companies have different ways of applying for WaterSure. Depending on your water company, you may need to apply or request an application form over the phone, or you might be able to download the form online.
If you think you might qualify for the WaterSure scheme, you should get in touch with your local water company. If you’re not sure how best to contact your water company, you can find a full list of water company contact details here.
What other schemes are out there?
WaterSure is a national scheme, but often water companies offer other types of support to customers who are struggling financially. For example, some can award grants to help people get back on their feet, while others offer lower-rate tariffs to customers who meet certain criteria.
To find out what support may be available to you, take a look at your local water company’s website or give their customer services team a call.
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