Curo money saving expert Sarah Rogers follows up her fuel-bill-busting blog post with a look at the help available for any Curo customers struggling to keep their heads above the water bills.
Local water supplier Wessex Water has a range of schemes and low rate tariffs to help reduce on-going water charges or to repay debts. They’re also able to give practical help to reduce water and energy use.
First up is Wessex Water’s Assist service. This is for customers who are in extreme financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay their water bill. With Assist, customers pay a lower bill than normal, based on their ability to pay – up to a 90% discount. It can be used alongside their Restart and Restart Plus schemes.
A fresh start
Restart is a two-year debt repayment scheme from Wessex Water. It can be combined with any of their low-rate tariffs. It rewards customers for paying their on-going water charges and is designed to get customers back on track with payments.
WaterSure Plus caps bills for metered customers who need to use extra water. This scheme can help people on a low income who have a water meter. It will put a limit on charges for water and sewerage services as long as the customer meets the certain conditions.
Pension Credit Discount
Wessex also offers a Pension Credit Discount of 20% for customers on pension credit – this can be combined with Restart.
Pay for what you use
Water meters can help reduce water use and lower bills. The big advantage is that you only pay for what you use. Customers who live alone; small families; lower water users; and people living in high rateable-value properties often benefit.
If opting for a meter, it’s possible to revert to the set rate within two years. This isn’t an option if a meter is fitted for a new customer. Fitting is generally free. As of October 2016 customers moving into a house (but not an apartment) will have a water meter fitted if there’s not one already. There is no opt-out of this.
Wessex can provide a free water-saving pack to help cut water use. These packs include a four-minute shower timer, a Save-a-Flush device that saves 1.2 litres every time the WC is flushed, and a ShowerSave regulator that can save up to eight litres a minute.
Ask for help - it's here
Our message to any Curo customers struggling with bills and unable to pay their rent is always to get in touch as soon as possible. Help’s available and you’re always better off talking to us.