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Are you struggling to pay your water bills?

Get help with your water bills

If you’re struggling with your water bills follow these steps to get help. You should also read our page about how installing a water meter may save you money in the future.

Create a monthly budget

If you have water arrears, or if you’re having difficulty paying your monthly water bills, this could be a sign that you need debt advice. Use our online debt advice tool to create a monthly budget and look at your situation. It’s free, confidential and it only takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Most water companies run hardship schemes or fund independent charitable trusts which can help people in financial difficulty. Having information about your finances ready, in the form of a budget, will help you to apply.

Apply for help with your water bills

If you’re in arrears your water company may be able to offer help through a charitable trust. These independent trusts take applications from people who need help through a short period of financial difficulty, and may help to give you a fresh start.

Other schemes may be able to cap your charges for ongoing water use, or allow you to pay for your water bills directly from your benefits and receive a discount.

Click on your provider's name below to check your eligibility, and find out how to apply for help with your water bills.

Not eligible for help?

Some of the schemes that suppliers offer are restricted to people who are living on a low income, receiving income-related benefits or who have certain medical conditions. However, if you don’t fit these criteria you may be able to get other forms of support.

Contact your supplier to discuss your situation, as they may still be able to help you.

 

Affinity Water

Aquacare

  • This may help if you have a large household, are receiving income-related benefits and have a meter which has recorded usage of more than 124 cubic metres of water a year (check your water bill to see your usage)
  • If you qualify, your costs will be reduced

To apply, call 0345 357 2401 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

LIFT scheme

  • This may help you if you have a low household income, or you’re receiving income-related benefits
  • If you qualify, your water charges will be capped

To apply, complete the online application form

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, call  0800 697982

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the online application form

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Anglian Water

Free water efficiency check

  • Get a free home water efficiency check
  • May help to reduce your bills
  • To apply, complete the online application form or call 0800 97 555 74 (Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday 9am - 1pm)

Flexible payments

  • If you’re experiencing financial difficulty
  • If you qualify, you’ll be able to spread the cost with a payment plan to suit you
  • To apply, call 03457 919155

WaterSure

  • If you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges
To apply, complete the online form

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Bournemouth Water

FreshStart fund

  • If you’re experiencing financial difficulty, or have recently experiencing a life-changing event and would benefit from having your water debt cleared, or help with your bills
  • If you qualify you’ll receive financial assistance to help you adjust, you will need to be assessed by Plymouth Citizen’s Advice

To apply, contact Plymouth Citizen's Advice by phone  01752 502697 or email

Watercare tariff

  • If you’re living on a low income, have a water meter and are receiving income-related benefits
  • If you qualify, you will receive a discount based on your circumstances

To apply, call 01202 590059

WaterSure

  • If you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form, call 01202 590059 or email

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Bristol Water

Assist

  • This may help you if you’re on a low income and you're struggling to pay your water bills
  • If you qualify, Assist reduce your tariff in line with your ability to pay, you will need to provide a budget 

To apply, call 0845 6003 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

Flexible payment plans

  • This may help you if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your current charges
  • You can agree a flexible payment plan and catch up on payments at a later date

To apply, call 0845 6003 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)

Pension credit tariff

  • This may help if all adults in your household are receiving pension credit or have a state pension as their only form of income
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive a discount on your bill of around 20%

To apply, complete the application form

Restart

  • This may help you if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll start a two year payment plan designed to cover your current usage and clear some of your arrears

Find out more here

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, call 0345 600 3600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) or email customer.services@bwbsl.co.uk

WaterSure Plus

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, call 0345 600 3 600 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) or complete the application form

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Cambridge Water

Assure tariff

  • This may help if you’re living on a low income, or receiving income-related benefits
  • If you qualify you’ll receive a discount of up to 80%

To apply, complete the application form or call 01223 706050

Charitable trust

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty, or have recently experiencing a life-changing event and would benefit from having your water debt cleared, or help with your bills
  • If you qualify you’ll receive financial assistance towards your water bills

To apply, contact South Staffs Water Charitable Trust Fund or call 0300 330 0033 or visit their website www.sswct.org

Payment plans

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay your water bill
  • If you qualify, you’ll be able to spread the costs with a payment plan

To apply, call 01223 706050

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your local benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form or call 01223 706050

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Dee Valley Water

Flexible payment plans

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay your water bill
  • If you qualify, you’ll be able to spread the costs with a payment plan

To apply, email customer.support@deevalleygroup.com or call 01978 833200

Here2help tariff

  • This may help if you’re living on a low income, or receiving income-related benefits
  • If you qualify you’ll receive a discount of up to 80%

To apply please email customer.support@deevalleygroup.com or call 01978 833200

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, email customer.support@deevalleygroup.com or call 01978 833200

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form or call 01978 833200

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Essex and Suffolk Water

Repayment plans

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll start a repayment plan to pay your debt off at a more manageable rate

To apply, call 0345 782 0111

SupportPLUS Arrears

  • This may help if you have more than two years of water arrears
  • If you qualify, the scheme runs for two years and if you make the agreed repayments on time they’ll write off  some of your old debt

To apply, call 0345 782 0111

SupportPLUS Reduced Tariff Scheme

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your current charges
  • If you qualify, they’ll reduce the amount you pay every month, up to a maximum of 50% off your annual bill

To apply, call 0345 733 5566

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, complete the online application form or call 0345 782 0111

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form and return by post or email

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Hartlepool Water

Aquacare plus

  • This may help if you receive income-related benefits
  • If you qualify, your water bills will be capped

To apply, complete the application form or call 01429 858030 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm)

Assistance fund

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty and have water arrears
  • If you qualify the fund may be able to help you to clear your water arrears

To apply, use email awaf@charisgrants.com, or call 01733 421060

Lite

  • This may help if you’re on a low income and you’re struggling to afford your water bill
  • If you qualify you’ll receive a discount of up to 80%

To apply, email enquiries@hartlepoolwater.co.uk or call 01429 858030 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm excluding Bank Holidays)

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

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Portsmouth Water

Arrears assist

  • This may help if you have more than £300 of arrears
  • If you qualify, a proportion of the historic debt will be written off if you continue to pay the agreed payment schedule

To apply, complete the application form

Helping hand tariff

  • This may help if you’re living on a low income
  • If you qualify, the Helping Hand tariff will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

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Northumbrian Water

Repayment plans

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll start a repayment plan to pay your debt off at a more manageable rate

To apply, call 0345 733 5566

SupportPLUS Arrears

  • This may help if you have more than two years of water arrears
  • If you qualify, the scheme runs for two years and if you make the agreed repayments on time they’ll write off  some of your old debt

To apply, call 0345 733 5566

SupportPLUS Reduced Tariff Scheme

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your current charges
  • If you qualify, Northumbrian Water will reduce the amount you pay every month, up to a maximum of 50% off your annual bill

To apply, call 0345 733 5566

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, complete the online application form

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form and send via post or email, or call 0345 733 5566

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Severn Trent Water

Charitable trust

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty, or have recently experienced a life-changing event and would benefit from having your water debt cleared, or help with your bills
  • If you qualify you’ll receive financial assistance towards your water bills

To apply, email office@sttf.org.uk or call 0300 1230890

Debt helpline

  • Auriga services provide a debt helpline for Severn Trent customers

Call 0121 3557766

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form or call 0800 085 4986

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Scottish Water

Payment plans for metered customers

  • Customers who have a water meter installed have their bills collected directly by Scottish Water
  • You can arrange a payment plan based on your average annual invoice, you then pay your charges quarterly

To apply, call 0800 0778778 (24 hours)

Unmetered customers

  • Your waste water and water charges are based on your council tax band
  • If you receive a reduction on your council tax bill, this will apply to your water charges

Your council will collect your water charges on behalf of Scottish Water

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South East Water

Helping hand scheme

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty and have water debt
  • If you qualify you’ll receive financial assistance towards your water bills

To apply, complete the application form

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

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South Staffs Water

Assure tariff

  • This may help if you’re living on a low income
  • If you qualify, the Assure tariff will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

Charitable Trust

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty and have water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive financial assistance towards your water bills

To apply, call South Staffs Water Charitable Trust Fund on 0300 330 0033 or visit their website at www.sswct.org

Personal payment plans

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your arrears you may be eligible
  • If you qualify, you’ll start a repayment plan to pay your debt off manageably

To apply, call 0800 0930 610

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

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Southern Water

Essentials Tariff

  • This may help if your water services charges are high compared to the amount of income your household receives, or if you and anyone living with you receive pension credit
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive a discount of at least 20% on future bills

To apply complete the online application form

NewStart

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive help to pay off your water debt

To apply, complete the online application form

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, complete the online application form

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the online application form

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South West Water

Freshstart

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulty and have water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive financial assistance towards your water bills

To apply, call the dedicated team at Plymouth Citizens Advice on 01752 502967 or email freshstart@plymouthcab.org.uk

Restart

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll start a repayment plan to pay your debt off manageably

To apply, call 0800 0830 283 (Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm or Saturdays 9am-1pm)

Watercare tariff

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits
  • If you qualify, Watercare will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the online application form

Water Direct

  • If you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact you benefits office

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the online application form

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SES Water

Clearstart

This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your arrears

  • If you qualify, you’ll start a repayment plan to pay your debt off manageably

To apply, call 01737 772000

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact your benefits office

Water support

  • This may help if you’re living on a low income
  • If you qualify, the Water support tariff will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form or call 01737 772000

WaterSure

  • This may help if you’re a metered household, receiving income-related benefits, and must either receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of 19 who are in full-time education and living at the property or have a medical condition which means you need to use significant amounts of water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will reduce your water charges

To apply, complete the application form

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Thames Water

Customer assistance fund

  • This may help if you’re living on a low income and/or experiencing financial difficulty and cannot pay your water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive a one-off payment to help clear your water debts

To apply, complete the application form and send it by post or call 0800 111 4680

Water Direct

  • This will help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, complete the application form and send it by post or call 0800 009 3652

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form and send it by post or call 0800 009 3652

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United Utilities

Back on track

  • This may help if you’re receiving income-related benefits and you have arrears that you’re unable to pay
  • If you qualify, you’ll pay a set flat fee for your water bill

To apply, complete the application form and send it by post

Help to pay

  • This may help if you’re receiving pension credit and struggling to pay your water bills
  • If you qualify, your bills will be capped at an affordable amount based on your income and outgoings

To apply, complete the application form and send it by post

Payment matching plus

  • This may help if you have water arrears that you’re unable to pay
  • If you qualify, then for every £1 you pay towards your arrears, United Utilities will match it. After six months, we'll increase their contribution to £2 for every £1 you pay. If you continue to make regular payments for two years, any remaining debt will be cleared

To apply, call 0800 072 6765

Priority Services

If you need additional support due to age, ill health, disability, financial worries or language barriers, you can register for the United Utilities Priority Services scheme. It’s free and you’ll benefit from a range of additional services including:

  • Braille, large print, ‘talking’ bills and leaflets
  • Protection from bogus callers with a password protection scheme
  • Alternative water supplies if your water is likely to be off for more than 12 hours
  • Support for dialysis patients
  • Notice of interruptions to your water supply

Register online or call 0345 072 6093.

The United Utilities website also includes a range of tools that allows you to change their web pages to meet your particular needs – simply click on ‘Accessibility help’ to give it a try.

Restart

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay your water bills
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive a one-off payment from the United Utilities Trust Fund to help clear your debts and start afresh

To apply, call 0800 072 6765

Water Direct

  • If you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, call 0800 072 6765

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form and send it by post

Payment Break

  • This may help if you’re struggling with your water bill due to losing your job or having to pay out for an unexpected household emergency
  • United Utilities will delay your payments for an agreed period of time
  • When you’re ready to start paying again, they will spread these delayed payments over future instalments to help you catch up and not fall into debt

To apply call 0800 072 6765 or download the information leaflet for further details.

Universal Credit support

If you’re transitioning to Universal Credit, United Utilities can delay your water bill payments for up to eight weeks until your first Universal Credit payment arrives. Please call 0800 072 6765 to discuss this in more detail.

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Welsh Water

Customer Assistance Fund

  • This may help if you have water arrears and you’re unable to pay
  • If you qualify, and pay your current charges for six months Welsh Water will pay off half of your arrears. If you then pay for a further six months they will pay off the remaining balance of your arrears

To apply, complete the online application form

HelpU

  • This may help if your household income is £15,000 or less
  • If you qualify, your bills could be capped at a reduced rate

To apply, complete the online application form

Water Direct

  • If you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, complete the online application form

WaterSure Wales

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the online application form

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Wessex Water

Assist

  • This may help if you’re experiencing extreme financial difficulty and cannot afford to pay your water bill
  • If you qualify, you’ll pay a lower bill than normal, based on your ability to pay

To apply, complete the application form

Pension credit

  • This may help if all adults in your household are receiving pension credit or have a state pension as their only form of income
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive a discount of around 20% off your bill

To apply, complete the application form

Restart

  • This may help if you have significant water debt that you can't repay but you can afford your ongoing water bills
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive help to repay your arrears if you pay your current charges

To apply, complete the online application form

WaterSure plus

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure plus will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form

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Yorkshire Water

Community Trust

  • This may help if you’re experiencing financial difficulties and have water arrears
  • If you qualify, you’ll receive an award towards your arrears

To apply, complete the application form

Resolve

  • This may help if you have significant water debt that you can't repay but you can afford your ongoing water bills
  • If you qualify, you’ll get help to repay your arrears if you pay your current charges

To apply, contact Yorkshire Water

Water Direct

  • If you’re receiving income-related benefits and have water arrears
  • Allows you to pay for your water directly from your benefits

To apply, contact Yorkshire Water

WaterSupport

  • This may help if your household has a low income and your annual water bill is more than £435
  • If you qualify, your quarterly bills will be capped

To apply, request a call back

WaterSure

  • This may help you if you’re a metered customer receiving income-related benefits, with three or more children under 19 living at home, or a member of your household has a medical condition that requires significant use of extra water
  • If you qualify, WaterSure will cap your annual bill

To apply, complete the application form, and send it to support@yorkshirewater.co.uk

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