Important review launched into economical water in the UK: The UK and Welsh Governments have arranged an important independent review into the support directly on offer to water customers in financial hardship.
In a bid to provide stronger support for householders who are struggling to afford their water bills the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has begun an appeal for evidence into current assistance schemes.
It will team up with organisations from across industry and further to discover new opportunities to guarantee households in financially vulnerable circumstances receive the help they need.
The water industry has taken huge strides towards tackling water poverty over the last decade, with more than 900,000 households now receiving ongoing help through lower water bills and payment breaks, funding of this support falls short of addressing the size of the problem and will be expanded even further as more people suffer financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the main outlet of support has come via social tariff schemes, nevertheless, such schemes depend mainly on other customers’ willingness to fund them which can considerably reduce bills of low income households.
CCWater Chair Robert Light stated: “Financial help for struggling water customers was in danger of running dry even before COIVD-19 so the time is ripe for us to explore how we can put in place fair and sustainable long term support.
“We will work with other organisations during the review to look at how we can build on the progress that has been made and make much deeper inroads into reducing water poverty.”
CCWater is welcoming views from individuals as well as organisations on the adjustments that need to be made to improve the support for households as part of its appeal for evidence, which will be closing on 15th December 2020.
Rebecca Pow, UK Environment Minister added: “We are proud of the legislation we introduced for water companies to assist households with their water bills. However, we recognise that some consumers may still struggle to get the help they need.
“In these challenging times we must support the water sector and ensure that customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable, receive reliable water services. I therefore welcome this review and look forward to CCW’s recommendations on how we can work with water companies to effectively deliver support to those who need it.”
CCWater will produce its findings & recommendations in Spring 2021.
Important review launched into economical water in the UK