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What if I can't pay my bill?

We know it can be tough, so we're here to help if you’re struggling to pay your bill. You could be eligible for one of our payment schemes.

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What if I already owe money?

We know that being in debt can be stressful, but we’re here to help and support our customers. If you've missed payments on your water bill and owe us money, you can call our dedicated Collections team who will be able to discuss a payment plan to suit your needs.

If you've been contacted by a debt collection agency the best thing to do is to get in touch with them as quickly as possible. Their friendly advisors will be on hand to work with you and help you get back on track.

If you think your account has incorrectly been sent to a debt collection agency, please get in touch.

You can call our Collections team for free on 0800 027 0363 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Our Hardship Fund

We’ve set up our Hardship Fund to provide additional assistance if you're are experiencing financial difficulty.

Other help

If you're struggling to pay your bills, your nearest Citizens Advice and StepChange Debt Charity offer free and confidential help and advice.

Am I eligible for a water bill discount?

You may be eligible for a reduction in your water bill if any of the following applies to you:

  • Your household income is low
  • Someone in your home gets a means-tested benefit
  • You’ve got three or more children under 19 living at home
  • Someone living with you needs more water because of a medical condition
  • You haven’t made a payment to us for a while.

Expand the payment schemes and tariffs below to see if one matches your situation.

WaterSure Water Direct NewStart Essentials
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WaterSure – caps your water bills if you have a water meter

You may be eligible for a reduction in water rates if you have a low income and you have a water meter at your property.

The reduced charges for the WaterSure scheme are £439 (£186 for water only and £253 for wastewater only) from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

If your fresh water is supplied by another water company, please contact them directly for assistance.

We can help by putting a limit on your charges for water and wastewater services, as long as you meet the following conditions:

You (or someone in your household) are receiving one of the benefits or tax credits shown below:

  • Child Tax Credit (you must receive more than the family element)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).

And either:

You (or someone in your household) are responsible for three or more children under 19 in full time education who live with you.

Or you, your child or the person receiving the benefit or tax credit have a specified medical condition requiring the use of more water than normal. The specified medical conditions are:

  • Abdominal stoma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Desquamation (flaky skin disease)
  • Eczema, psoriasis or varicose ulceration (weeping skin disease)
  • Incontinence
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Renal failure (where they need home dialysis)
  • Another condition which means they have to use a lot of extra water.

What you'll need to apply online

When filling out our online application form, you'll need to send us the necessary supporting evidence.

  • A photocopy of the latest ‘notice of entitlement’ for benefits or tax credit.
  • A doctor’s certificate or a letter from a GP or consultant confirming that this condition needs extra water.
  • A photocopy of a prescription form or doctor’s certificate.
  • A photocopy of the latest ‘notice of entitlement’ to Child Benefit for each child.

Alternatively email us at payless@southernwater.co.uk or phone us for free on 0800 027 0363 - 8am–7pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday.

Your individual circumstances will be assessed confidentially by one of our specialist advisors.

We'll then let you know if you've been accepted onto one of our payment schemes or tariffs.

Water Direct – Jobcentre Plus may pay us directly from your benefits

If you're claiming Income Support, Income-Based Job Seeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance Universal Credit or Pension Credit, Jobcentre Plus may consider paying us directly out of your benefits.

If you have at least £50 arrears, Jobcentre Plus will take a fixed amount from your benefits to cover what you owe in arrears and your current charges.

If you're unsure what benefits you're entitled to, you can get an online benefits check on the StepChange Debt Charity website.

What you'll need to apply online

Before completing the application form please make sure you have the following information available:

  • Your customer number
  • Details of your income and expenditure
  • National Insurance number
  • Your name and address
  • Preferred method of contact.

The Financial Assistance application form takes around 20–30 minutes to complete.

NewStart – debt support

NewStart can help you pay off your water bill debt.

You might qualify for NewStart if you currently owe us money and haven’t made a payment for a while.

What you'll need to apply online

Before completing the application form please make sure you have the following information available:

  • Your customer number
  • Details of your income and expenditure
  • National Insurance number
  • Your name and address
  • Preferred method of contact.

The Financial Assistance application form takes around 20–30 minutes to complete.

Essentials – provides a discount on your future bills

Our Essentials Tariff is designed to help customers who are struggling to pay their water services charges. It provides a discount of at least 45% on future bills and a low income pensioner discount.

If you receive your water and wastewater supply from us, you’ll qualify for our Essentials tariff if:

  • your household income is less than £22,020 (excluding Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payments) and you have savings of less than £16,000
  • someone in your household receives pension credits.

If you qualify, we’ll discount the amount we charge you for services – this will be between 45% and 90% depending on your income.

If you qualify through pension credit, you'll be entitled to 45% reduced water rates.

If you qualify for our Essentials tariff but you receive your water supply from another company and your wastewater services from us, we’ll provide you with a 45% discount on your wastewater charges.

You may be able to apply for your water supply company’s financial assistance tariff for a discount on your water bill.

To help us establish whether you qualify for the tariff, you must provide us with information about your household income, housing costs, and the number of people living in your home.

If you qualify, help with your charges will start from the date you applied for our Essentials tariff. After 12 months we'll contact you to review your circumstances, and to decide whether the Essentials Tariff should continue for a further 12 months.

What you'll need to apply online

Before completing the application form please make sure you have the following information available:

  • Your customer number
  • Details of your income and expenditure
  • National Insurance number
  • Your name and address
  • Preferred method of contact.

The Financial Assistance application form takes around 20–30 minutes to complete.

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