Across the UK there is already a growing number of broadband providers who are offering social broadband tariffs to customers who are on a lower income or who are entitled to certain benefits. But did you know that water companies also offer social tariffs to a selection of their customers?
If you’re on a low income or claim certain benefits, then you could be entitled to an exclusive social water tariff. The majority of water companies in the UK have a social tariff scheme in place to help people on lower incomes who may be struggling to pay their bills. The social water tariff costs less than a normal water tariff, which means that you can benefit from cheaper rates for the water that you use. This means that you will have more money left over for other essentials that you need.
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What exactly is a social tariff?
The term ‘social tariff’ is a relatively new one, so you would be forgiven for having never heard of it. To put things simply, a social tariff is a special tariff that offers a service at a reduced rate to those who are entitled to it or need it most. Due to the ever-increasing cost of living, it’s now becoming harder for people who are on lower incomes or relying on benefits such as Universal Credit to pay their bills. Social tariffs are there to help make things that bit easier, offering the same services as other households, but at a reduced rate.
Does my water company offer a social tariff?
The social tariff available will vary from water provider, but most of the water companies across the UK do offer some form of social tariff. Who is eligible for help with their bills and the level of support available will vary depending on your water company and sometimes even on your individual circumstances. You can’t simply switch your water company like you can with your broadband and other essential services, so there’s absolutely no harm is checking to see if you are entitled to pay less for your water.
Do social water tariffs apply to both water and sewage?
Depending on where you live within the UK, you may have one or two water companies. Some water companies deal with the supply of fresh water to your home as well as the removal of waste water and sewage. If your area falls under one of these companies, then the chances are you will pay one water bill to one company.
If however you have one water company that supplies your home with fresh water, and another that deals with the waste water and sewage, then chances are that you will pay two bills to two different water companies.
To answer the question to whether both fresh water providers and waste water companies have a social tariff, then yes most of them do. If you only deal with the one water company then you will have one social water tariff available to you. If you have two separate companies for your fresh and waste water then the chances are that they will both be able to offer you a social tariff if you are eligible.
Companies in the UK who provide both water and sewage treatment
There are currently 11 companies in the UK that deal with both supplying your home with fresh water and removing and treating your waste water. These are:
- Anglian Water
- Welsh water (Dwr Cymru)
- Hafren Dyfrdwy
- Northumbrian Water
- Severn Trent Water
- South East Water
- Southern Water
- Thames Water
- United Utilities
- Wessex Water
- Yorkshire Water
Out of these water companies, all of them offer a social tariff exclusively to those who need it the most. As mentioned before whether you are eligible for each company’s social tariff will depend on the company.
Companies in the UK who provide water only
There are nine companies in the UK who only deal with supplying fresh water to your home. These are as follows:
- Affinity Water
- Bournemouth Water (South West Water)
- Bristol Water
- Cambridge Water (South Staffs)
- Essex & Suffolk Water (Northumbrian)
- Portsmouth Water
- South East Water
- South Staffs Water
- SES Water
As you can see companies such as South East water fall under both categories, so it’s possible that even though they tend to supply fresh water to homes as well as deal with waste water, for your particular property they may only provide the fresh water. The best way to find out which water companies you deal with is to find out who you pay your bill to.
There are also six localised water companies, who may supply your water depending on where you live in the country. These are:
- Albion Water
- Independent Water Networks
- Leep Utilities
- Severn Trent Services
- Veolia Water
- Icosa Water
Social water tariffs available to you
If one of the below water companies provides you with either fresh water or deals with your waste water, then good news! If you’re eligible then they will offer you a social, reduced rate tariff.
|Water Company||Social Tariff|
|Anglian Water||LITE and Extra LITE|
|Welsh Water (Drw Cymru)||HelpU|
|Severn Trent Water||Big Difference scheme|
|South East Water||Social tariff|
|Southern Water||Essentials tariff|
|Thames Water||WaterHelp and WaterSure|
|United Utilities||Back on Track|
|Wessex Water||Low-rate tariff|
As you can see, virtually all water companies in the UK offer their own version of a social tariff. This means that if you are on a low income or in receipt of benefits, then it’s defintiely worth checking out the social tariff being offered by your water company. You have nothing to lose, and could save hundreds on your water bill each year.