Cost-of-living support: Welsh Water urges Rhondda Cynon Taf residents not to ‘suffer in silence’ as it offers financial support packages

Written by on 10th February 2023

A record number of households – over 147,000 – now receive financial support from Welsh Water

· Based on Welsh Government data, the organisation believes thousands more could qualify for financial assistance

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is reminding customers in Rhondda Cynon Taf about its range of financial support packages available, amidst the rising cost-of-living.

Despite the Government’s announcement of a series of cost-of-living payments throughout 2023 and 2024, specialist support teams at Welsh Water are concerned that people may still struggle financially and are urging customers to check if they are eligible to access support available from the company for those facing financial hardship.

The not-for-profit water company in England and Wales offers a range of financial support to households on a low income that are receiving a means-tested benefits, like Universal Credit or Tax Credits.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has confirmed that a record number of households – over 147,000 – now receive financial support from the company to pay their bills.

In response to the continued rise in the cost-of-living, the company believes many more could benefit from its financial support packages, having pledged an additional £12 million to support an extra 50,000 households.

Paula Burnell, Head of Vulnerable Customer Support at Welsh Water, said:

“The Office of National Statistics has reported that Wales saw rapid rises in the cost of essentials – energy, housing, food, and fuel – that have outstripped average increases in people’s wages and welfare payments. While the Government’s Cost of Living Support Package is welcomed across many households in Wales, we understand that it still won’t be enough for those who are struggling with the unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, with 16% of the population reported to be living in income deprivation.

“We have seen a huge increase in customers requesting support over the last few months, but we are confident there are still many more customers we can offer our support to. We want to help as many customers as we possibly can, and strongly urge people to not suffer in silence. Please get in touch with us to find out how we can help, we are here for you.”

Due to its not-for-profit operating model, the utilities provider also announced that £12 million has been made available to help customers through the provision of social tariffs.

The range of options for those in need of support, include:

· Debt schemes designed to support customers to clear debts and get in control of their payments

· Tariffs to cap water bills for low-income households or people receiving a means-tested benefit

· Water efficiency advice to help customers on a water meter make savings with simple changes to habits at home

· Free practical support for priority customers, like access to accessible bills, password schemes to protect against bogus callers, and bottled water deliveries during supply interruptions.

Welsh Water has a dedicated, highly trained, Specialist Support team in place to guide and support customers experiencing any form of vulnerability; financial or otherwise. In the last three months, the team has visited over 120 awareness events to promote its services across Wales.

Paula Burnell added:

“We feel very strongly that no-one’s mental wellbeing should suffer due to worrying about paying their water bill, but we can only help if we know you need support. Any customers who are concerned about their water bill should remember that there is always a solution – and it starts with acting and letting us know you need our help.”

Customers can contact the Specialist Support team directly for a confidential conversation, or request help online by visiting dwrcymru.com/supportwithbills


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