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More than 80,000 water bill payment breaks granted

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More than 80,000 households have received a payment break on water bills amid the coronavirus crisis.

Each water company has its own scheme to help customers who are struggling to pay bills, such as social tariffs and discounts, as well as payment breaks.

Figures from Water UK reveal 80,000 payment breaks have been given during the Covid-19 pandemic while more than a million households are now receiving a reduction on water bills.

The body said that with winter fast approaching, water companies in England and Wales are encouraging customers to get in touch if they need support with bills.

It is also urging customers to take steps now to avoid a difficult winter, such as insulating (lagging) pipes, bleeding radiators or locating the stop tap (also known as a stopcock or stop valve)

Water UK chief executive, Christine McGourty, said: “As we head into winter the last thing anyone wants is to be worrying about how they’re going to pay their water bill. It’s been a tough year for many people, and water companies want to make sure their customers stay warm, safe and comfortable over the winter months.

“Anyone who is worried about their bills should get in touch with their water supplier. There is lots of support they can offer, and all people need to do is reach out and get in contact.

“At the same time please do check your water company website for simple hints on tips to help keep the water flowing this winter.”

Emma Clancy, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), said: “The winter will be tough enough for many struggling households without having to worry about whether they can afford their water bill which is why we’ve worked closely with water companies to boost the capacity and range of support. Schemes like social tariffs and payment breaks have already provided a lifeline to thousands of customers but we know there remain huge numbers of people still missing out on financial and practical help.”

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