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Half of water customers unaware of financial help available

Written by: Emma Lunn
People most in need of help could be missing out on essential extra support from their water company, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW).

The CCW ranks water companies according to their performance on a range of important measures, including customer satisfaction, service failures and complaints handling.

It found that just 43% of customers in England and Wales are aware of the extra help their water company offers. Assistance can range from the delivery of bottled water in an emergency to the provision of information in accessible formats like large print or different languages.

The people most likely to be helped by water companies’ assistance schemes are also those who find it more difficult to access them. This includes people in minority ethnic groups, those with language barriers, the digitally excluded, disabled people and those with lower-level literacy skills.

Emma Clancy, CCW chief executive, said: “We’re seeing positive commitments and action across the industry, with people continuing to struggle both financially and emotionally in the wake of the pandemic, it’s so important for our industry to continue its efforts to make customers aware of what help is available to them.”

The CCW is collaborating with water companies on a number of pilot schemes to improve communication with customers. These include simplifying the application process people go through to register for support, and exploring ways to improve engagement with marginalised communities.

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