Some of the region′s most deprived communities will be boosted by Northumbrian Water′s plans to cut bills and help make water more affordable for all.
The north east water company is committing to eradicate all water poverty by 2030 as part of its business plan submission to industry regulator OFWAT.
Water poverty is where customers spend more than 3% of their income on their water bill, after housing costs, and the north east company is determined to do everything it can to help make sure all bills are affordable for all customers and reduce the worry when it comes to paying bills.
In their plans, which are currently being assessed by the water watchdog, they are also looking at:
- Lowering bills for customers, with a reduction of 12% for our water customers and 14% for our wastewater customers by 2025.
- Setting up the UK′s first and only Water Poverty Unit, established through our partnerships with StepChange and National Energy Action (NEA);
- Introducing a revolutionary ‘Pay your own way′ app-based tariff that allows customers to change when and how much they pay, putting them in control of their bills.
Northumbrian Water Corporate Affairs Director Louise Hunter said: "Paying a bill or choosing to eat isn′t a decision anyone should have to make. Water and sewerage services should be affordable for all of our customers whatever their circumstances and we′re committed to making this happen.
"Making sure bills are affordable for all of our customers is our industry leading aspiration and our ambitious aim to eradicate water poverty by 2030 is a powerful example of this, particularly given the very high levels of unemployment, welfare benefits receipt and income deprivation that we have in our regions.
"We understand that a household′s finances can go up and down and that some of our customers will face difficulties according to their personal circumstances and at different stages of their life.
"Our plan will increase the disposable incomes of our customers who need it the most, when they need it the most. This will reduce the worries these customers face when it comes to paying essential household bills and putting food on the table for their families.
"By making sure that our services are fully inclusive for all of our customers - whatever their circumstances we can leave a lasting legacy through protecting and enhancing our environment and communities."
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive, NEA, said: ‘′We are delighted to use our 35 years′ experience tackling fuel poverty to help better understand and tackle water poverty.
‘′People who struggle to afford a warm and dry home will struggle to afford other essential services, such as water. Understanding what works and how it can be applied in energy and water should bring benefits to both sectors and we look forward to working with Northumbrian Water, and other water stakeholders, to help make it happen.′′
Currently around 370,000 households in our operating areas (NW and ESW) are in water poverty according to the company′s research.
Northumbrian Water is committed to have water poverty completely eradicated by 2030 but are expecting to have two-thirds of these customers our of water poverty by 2025.
To find out more details on ‘Our Plan′ visit www.nwgourplan.co.uk and follow us on social media @Northumbrianh2O / @northumbrianwater #NWOurPlan.