Keep your head above water

01 June 2016

Citizens Advice County Durham and Northumbrian Water have joined forces to help people who are struggling to pay their water bill.

Citizens Advice County Durham has committed to help the water company to inform people about its newly introduced reduced tariff scheme, which enables customers who are having difficulty paying their current water charges to reduce their bill by up to 50%.

Another of the utility’s support schemes, which will be jointly promoted, is an initiative which supports customers who have built up significant water bill arrears that they are unable to pay.

Dawn Kirsopp, Deputy Chief Executive of Citizens Advice County Durham, said “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Northumbrian Water to raise awareness of the schemes that are available to help customers manage their water bills. Over the next three months we will be raising awareness of the different schemes and hopefully help the residents of County Durham to ‘keep their heads above water’ when it comes to managing their water bills.”

Lisa Connell, Northumbrian Water’s Customer Manager, said: “We understand that sometimes life’s ups and downs mean that some customers may find themselves in a difficult financial situation and that is why we have introduced our SupportPlus programme.. We encourage these customers to get in touch with us so we can provide them with the relevant information, advice and support. We are sure that our partnership with Citizens Advice County Durham will help us to reach out to more people to ensure they get the help they are eligible for.”

The reduced tariff and arrears schemes are part of Northumbrian Water’s SupportPLUS programme, which has been put in place to provide customers with a range of extra help.

Other schemes include the Water Sure scheme, which helps customers who have a low income and have a water meter fitted, and Extra Care, which enables customers to register for bills and leaflets to be produced in Braille, large print, audio tape or CD.

Northumbrian Water employees have also been trained to better understand customer circumstances and the company also works in partnership with a number of free advice agencies, including Citizens Advice.

To check your eligibility for any of the schemes contact Northumbrian Water on 0345 733 5566, log onto www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/your-account/Difficulty-paying.aspx or visit your local Citizens Advice County Durham office. Locations for Citizens Advice County Durham can be found at www.cdcab.org.uk.

For further information contact
Dawn Kirsopp, Citizens Advice County Durham on 0191 372 6701
or Cara Charlton, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6720.

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