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11 October 22

Affinity Water reaches out to customers in need of financial support and says “We’re here to help”

  • Since 2020 there have been 7,896 payment breaks applied for up to three months
  • 650,000 proactive emails being sent to customers who may be financially vulnerable
  • Over 93000 customers are now on our low-income tariff
  • Over 105000 households on the Priority Services Register

Affinity Water is emailing 650,000 of its customers to tell them of the help available if they are struggling to pay their water bills or think they may get into difficulties.

The Company supplies 3.6 people with 900 million litres of water each day across the South-East and five London Boroughs.

The emails will be sent to both metered (measured) and unmetered (unmeasured) customers during October 2022 starting this week.

With many people now feeling worried about soaring energy bills and an increase in the cost of living the Affinity Water “We’re here to help” email campaign urges customers to get in touch sooner rather than later.

Even with energy prices fixed at summer 2022 levels it is still estimated that 15.2 million people will be in poverty over the course of 2022-23. An increase of 1.3 million when compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The Affinity Water emails set out the payment options available including flexible payment plans, using certain benefit payments, a capped WaterSure tariff and Independent Debt advice.

Customers can apply for a reduced water bill if their household income is less than £16,480 or if they are currently claiming certain benefits such as Universal Credit or Job Seeker’s Allowance. This means they may be eligible for a low-income fixed tariff (LIFT) which enables them to receive a fixed-price bill each year for clean water. Payments can also be split across the year by paying by Direct Debits.

You can find out more on our struggling to pay page.

Customers who are clinically vulnerable, have sight, hearing impairments, or additional health needs, can join the free Priority Services Register. By signing up it will allow the Company to support them better.

The emails also point customers to a video hosting water saving tips with the advice that by saving water they can save on their energy bills too: “When we use water, we're often using energy, mostly to heat the water. By reducing the amount of water, we waste, we can help to reduce our energy use and bills, as well as reducing the impact on our local environment.”

The Company has also been working in collaboration with Reed in Partnership in Watford and the CAB in Luton to explain directly to concerned customers how they can access help. It will be attending two more cost of living events one in collaboration with the CAB in Luton on Friday 14th October and another in Stevenage with Reed in Partnership on Tuesday 18th October.

James Tipler, Head of Financial Support and Service Delivery for Affinity Water said:

“We know that households are facing a tough time now and under pressure to make ends meet so we wanted to reach out to them and encourage them to contact us if they are worried about paying their bills. Our “We’re here to help” emails clearly set out a range of option payment plans and there are video links embedded in them that give easy to follow explanations of what they need to do to access help. It’s important that they contact us sooner rather than later and we are asking the media to help us point them in the right direction.

“Since 2020 we have now helped 7,896 customers with payment breaks up to three months; and we will be sending out 650,000 proactive emails to customers who maybe financially vulnerable as well as allowing 93,000 customers to access our low-income tariffs. A further 105,000 have signed up to our Priority Services Register.”

Affinity Water’s Inclusive Services Engagement Manager, Liz Freitas added:

“Affinity Water was delighted to be involved in the Cost-of-Living Event held by Reed in Partnership last week in Watford. Our purpose was to raise awareness of the support we can offer with reduced bill tariffs and Priority Services Register and to also share water saving tips and devices. We had the privilege to meet residents from the Watford area who shared with us their circumstances and in turn we were able to signpost how we could help and provide a few water saving gadgets too. We will be attending more such events in the coming weeks one with the CAB in Luton on 14th October and another with Reed in Partnership in Stevenage on 18th October.”

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