Watersure scheme: Could you get help with your water bills?
Published 23 April 2016 by Emily Bancroft
You might be able to get your bills capped.
If you’re on a tight budget, you could find the important bills a bit of a strain every month. Affording your energy, rent and water bills can be a struggle, especially if you use more water than the typical family.
The Watersure scheme could help you with your water bills. If you have a water meter, you’re on certain benefits and you have to use a lot of water, the Watersure scheme could cap your bills. This means you wouldn’t ever pay more than the average water bill in your area, which could be a major lifeline if you struggle with your bills every month. So how does the Watersure scheme work?
What could you get?
Watersure could cap your bill to the average metered amount for your area. This will be based on your water company so the amount you could pay will vary depending on where you live in England or Wales.
You can ask your water company what its cap is before you apply for the Watersure scheme. Don’t worry if the cap turns out to be higher than your current metered bill – you won’t pay any more than you’re already paying. It just means the Watersure scheme won’t reduce your metered water bills.
For some customers, the Watersure scheme could mean they pay less than half of what they’re currently paying so you could cut your bill quite drastically, depending on your situation.
Are you eligible?
To qualify for Watersure, you must be getting at least one of these benefits:
• Universal Credit,
• Housing Benefit,
• Income Support,
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance,
• Working Tax Credit,
• Child Tax Credit at a higher rate than the family element only,
• Pension Credit, or
• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
You’ll also have three or more children under the age of 19 living with you, or you or someone you live with must have one of the following conditions:
• desquamation (also known as flaky skin disease),
• weeping skin disease (eczema, psoriasis or varicose ulceration),
• abdominal stomas,
• renal failure requiring dialysis at home – unless the NHS is already contributing to your water bill for this,
• Crohn's disease,
• ulcerative colitis, or
• another medical condition where you need to use more water than average.
Speak to your doctor if you’re not sure whether your medical condition affects how much water you use. They’ll be able to give you a doctor’s certificate – there’s a charge for this unless you’re getting help from the Government with your health costs.
You won’t get any help from the Watersure scheme if you’ve got sprinklers in your garden or if you’ve got a swimming pool.
If you think you’re eligible for help from the Watersure scheme, get in touch with your water company. They’ll give you application details and let you know if you qualify for the capped bills. Even if you don’t, they may be able to make your bills more flexible if you’re currently struggling with the payments, so it’s still a good idea to get in touch.